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Raymond James Downgrades Quidel's Stock

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Investment bank Raymond James has downgraded shares of Quidel to Market Perform from Outperform, citing a mild flu season.

Raymond James analyst Nicholas Jansen noted that recent figures from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest the 2015-2016 flu season will be mild. He estimated that 50 percent of Quidel's fourth quarter and first quarter revenue comes from influenza testing using the firm's QuickVue, Sofia immunoassay platform, and molecular platforms, and "a mild flu season can dampen results even if Sofia continues to hold its own against the molecular competitors."

In addition, Jansen noted that Quidel's stock was "sitting at our prior $22 price target," providing a more balanced risk/reward over the coming months.

"Despite the short-term downgrade, we remain fans of the company's longer-term strategy and believe the pipeline with Solana, Sofia 2, Virena, and Savanna all represent solid opportunities to either fortify market share or expand [its] molecular footprint," he wrote in a research note on Monday.

In addition to cutting the bank's rating on Quidel's stock, Jansen also lowered his fourth quarter revenue estimate for Quidel to $63 million, $2 million below the average Wall Street estimate.

In Monday afternoon trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Quidel were down around 4 percent at $21.00.