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Genomics Tools, MDx Stocks Post Big Gains in January

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Following a difficult 2011 on the stock market, particularly in the second half of the year, shares of publicly traded genomics tools firms jumped in the first month of 2012.

The GenomeWeb Daily News Index, which tracks the stocks of 31 firms in the genomics tools and molecular diagnostics markets, rose 15 percent in January.

One of the reasons for the increase was last week's $5.7 billion hostile acquisition bid by Roche to acquire Illumina — though the tools sector already was experiencing an uptick on the stock market before the bid. Roche's offer pushed Illumina's stock up sharply, and the firm finished January up 70 percent from its 2011 close

As expected, several tool firms went along for the ride, particularly sequencing players. Life Technologies finished the month up 24 percent, and Pacific BioSciences jumped 60 percent. PacBio also began its ascent after it named industry veteran Michael Hunkapiller as its new CEO early in the month.

Though sequencing services firm Complete Genomics saw its stock rise 20 percent in the wake of the Roche announcement, it finished the month up only 1 percent.

Among the other top-performing stocks were Rosetta Genomics (+111 percent), Vermillion (+31 percent), and Cepheid (+28 percent). Last week, Cepheid reported a 36 percent revenue gain for the fourth quarter and easily beat analysts' expectations on the top and bottom line. Its shares rose around 6 percent following the report.

Only three of the stocks in the GWDN Index fell in January. CombiMatrix closed down 15 percent, Luminex lost 7 percent, and Sequenom dropped 3 percent.

The GWDN Index outpaced the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+3 percent), the Nasdaq (+8 percent), and the Nasdaq Biotech Index (+11 percent) for the month.

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