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Illumina (ILMN) Progresses in Pathogen Genomic Technologies

Illumina, Inc. ILMN recently recognized the progress and impact of genomic technologies on pathogen preparedness and response. Driven by the improved sequencing infrastructure and pandemic-generated capabilities, public health agencies and healthcare systems can better respond to pathogenic threats by using the capabilities of genomic technologies.

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of genomic surveillance to support global response and reduced barriers for sharing data internationally.

Significance of Genomic Surveillance

WHO identifies genomic surveillance as "the process of constantly monitoring pathogens and analyzing their genetic similarities and differences.” Since the onset of the pandemic, ILMN's pathogen genomic surveillance solutions were deployed to understand the characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. This is likely to have acted as a catalyst for the development and updates to vaccines and diagnostics, identified virus variants of concern and monitored the virus's evolution and spread.

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Recently, WHO declared COVID-19 as no longer a public health emergency. However, individuals, communities and economies continue to be deeply impacted by the pandemic. This calls for continued vigilance by public health agencies and access to testing, genomic surveillance, vaccines and necessary treatments.

Genomics plays a profound role in robust surveillance efforts. Per a representative at Illumina, the company is putting up significant work globally to build capacity and capabilities to enable pandemic preparedness and response. By enabling the comprehensive characterization of circulating pathogens, ILMN can investigate potential threats, rapidly respond with countermeasures and ultimately save lives.

Industry Prospects

Per a Research report, the global genomics market size was valued at $28.1 billion in 2022 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 16.5% up to 2030.

Recent Developments

Earlier in April 2023, Illumina and the Detroit-based not-for-profit healthcare organization Henry Ford Health, announced a partnership to assess the impact of comprehensive genomic testing on cardiovascular diseases. The first study under this partnership, CardioSeq, includes 1,500 patients receiving care from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Henry Ford.

In the same month, Illumina announced that it received the international privacy certification for six of its cloud-based informatics programs. This recognizes the company’s compliance with robust, international data privacy requirements.

Price Performance

In the past six months, Illumina has mostly underperformed its industry. Shares of the company have decreased 12% compared with the industry’s decline of 8.8%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Illumina currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector are Penumbra PEN, Lantheus LNTH and Neuronetics STIM. While Penumbra and Lantheus each sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Neuronetics carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Penumbra’s stock has risen 120.5% in the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Penumbra’s earnings per share (EPS) has increased from $1.47 to $1.56 for 2023 and from $2.51 to $2.56 for 2024 in the past seven days.

PEN’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 109.42%. In the last reported quarter, the company registered an earnings surprise of 109.09%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Lantheus’ 2023 EPS has increased from $4.95 to $5.60 in the past 30 days. Shares of the company have improved 54.8% in the past year against the industry’s 28% decline.

LNTH’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 25.77%. In the last reported quarter, the company recorded an earnings surprise of 13.95%.

Estimates for Neuronetics’ loss per share have narrowed from $1.32 to $1.29 for 2023 in the past seven days. Shares of the company have risen 10.4% in the past year compared with the industry’s 3.3% growth.

STIM’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 19.61%. In the last reported quarter, Neuronetics delivered an earnings surprise of 2.56%.

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