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Raymond James Upgrades Quidel to Outperform

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Raymond James & Associates has upgraded its rating for Quidel to Outperform from Market Perform, the investment bank said today.

Raymond James analyst Nicholas Jansen said that the bank sees the risk/reward on the stock as increasingly attractive with the shares now more than 30 percent below their 52-week high. "Also, we believe receptivity to non-influenza products is building, and if we were to see a more normalized 2016-17 flu season, we could see upside to Street models later this year and into next as consensus appears to fail to reflect Quidel's significant share gains in the category," Jansen wrote.

With the weak 2015-16 flu season over, Quidel has multiple new products available over the next nine months, including the Sofia 2, multiple Solana assay approvals, and Vitamin D/Lyme assays on Sofia. The Quidel Sofia Analyzer and the Sofia Influenza A+B Fluorescent Immunoassay is used for the rapid, differential detection of influenza types A and B in nasal swab and nasopharyngeal swab specimens. The Solana platform is a molecular testing system that leverages the helicase-dependent amplification technology that also underpins Quidel's AmpliVue molecular technology.

"Submission of the company’s next-generation Sofia analyzer is around the corner and we expect flu, RSV, and Strep A to receive approval by the end of the year, which should help accelerate placement activity beyond the 15,000 or so Sofia 1 instruments in the market," the bank said.

The upgrade comes six months after Raymond James downgraded Quidel's stock to Market Perform from Outperform.

The company's stock was up $1.50 at $18.39 in morning trading on the Nasdaq.