Why Myriad Genetics, Inc. Popped Today

Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

Apr 2, 2014 at 11:24AM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Myriad Genetics, (NASDAQ:MYGN) soared 13% today after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated pricing for the sequencing of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

So what: Myriad shares had pulled back in recent weeks on concerns about increasing competition, but Medicare's decision to lift final BRCA reimbursement levels is helping ease those worries. In fact, Credit Suisse upgraded Myriad to neutral, while Jefferies boosted its price target on the stock to $33 (from $30) on today's news, suggesting that Wall Street's becoming a bit more comfortable with the company's margins going forward. 

Now what: According to Jefferies, Myriad's risk/reward trade-off, while still not compelling, is much improved. Jefferies analyst Brandon Couillard said:

In a surprise move, CMS revised the final NLA for BRCA testing to ~$2,200 (+52% from prior interim price) following a public comment period. We are raising our FY14 EPS forecast to $2.17 (from $2.12) to account for the new CMS reality in 4Q14. Our PT moves to $33 (from $30) on higher intermediate-term cash flow forecasts.

When you couple Myriad's hot stock price with the competitive headwinds still facing it, however, I'd wait for a wider margin of safety before jumping in.  

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