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Myriad Genetics: Test Revenues Strong, Currency Woes Stay

On May 13, we issued an updated research report on Salt Lake City, UT-based molecular diagnostics provider Myriad Genetics, Inc. MYGN. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Myriad ended the third quarter of fiscal 2016 on a promising note, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both top and bottom-line fronts. Strong growth delivered by its recently launched Prolaris and Vectra DA tests buoy optimism.

Myriad’s international contribution to total revenues is below 5% as of the reported quarter, which the company aims to raise to 10% by fiscal 2020. In particular, Myriad made substantial progress in the overseas markets on account of its breast cancer prognostic product – EndoPredict – in the third quarter.

In terms of reimbursement for its Prolaris prostate cancer test, Myriad made significant progress in the third quarter, with private payers having signed multiple additional private health plans. These plans, in aggregate, now represent approximately 28 million covered lives or 16% of all private payer covered lives.

Moreover, Myriad signed two private insurance contracts for its Vectra DA test for the first time in the third quarter, representing coverage of 2 million lives. Further, the French government recently approved provisional reimbursement rate of $2,000 for Myriad’s EndoPredict breast cancer test, which opened up a market of approximately 25,000 patients per year for the company.

The company’s strong expansion in the pipeline of tests, which currently represent a global addressable market opportunity worth $20 billion and a reimburse market of more than $1 billion, also encourages us.

On the flip side, unfavorable currency translation continues to be a major dampener for the stock. Management fears that in the event of further strengthening of dollar against foreign currencies might lead to deteriorating operating results for Myriad which may not be significantly outweighed through increased revenues.

Moreover, management does not currently utilize hedging strategies to mitigate foreign currency risk, which is also a matter of concern in case dollar strengthens in further.  Intensifying competition as well as the possibility that Myriad’s new test might not generate meaningful profits to outweigh the costs associated with their developments, continue to pose threats to the stock.

 Key Picks in the Sector                

Better-ranked medical stocks are Baxter International Inc. BAX, Boston Scientific Corporation BSX and LeMaitre Vascular, Inc. LMAT. All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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