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Why Exact Sciences Soared Today

By Keith Speights - Updated Apr 15, 2019 at 10:00AM

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The molecular-diagnostics company's early look at Q4 and full-year 2018 revenue numbers revved up investors.

What happened

Shares of Exact Sciences (EXAS -1.29%) soared 14.5% as of 3:24 p.m. EST on Monday. The molecular-diagnostics company offered a sneak peek at its fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 results earlier in the day, giving investors plenty of reasons to cheer.

Exact Sciences expects Q4 revenue will be between $142.5 million and $143.5 million, up 64% year over year. The company also anticipates total revenue for full-year 2018 will be between $454 million and $455 million, a strong 71% increase over the prior year.

Cologuard packaging materials and instructions

Image source: Exact Sciences.

So what

Anyone worried about growth slipping for Exact Sciences' DNA screening test for colorectal cancer had those worries put to rest. The company said that it completed around 292,000 Cologuard tests during Q4 and 934,000 tests during all of 2018, marking around 66% and 64% year-over-year growth, respectively.

It's also clear that Exact Sciences isn't running into significant pricing problems for Cologuard. This is evidenced by its revenue increases tracking closely with its test-volume increases.

The company doesn't appear to be encountering pushback from healthcare providers, either. Exact Sciences reported that nearly 15,000 providers ordered Cologuard for the first time during the fourth quarter of 2018. This brought the total number of providers who have ordered the DNA test since its launch to nearly 147,000.

It's important to note that the partnership between Exact Sciences and Pfizer didn't fully crank up in Q4. As Exact Sciences pointed out in its Q3 update, its staff trained Pfizer's primary-care sales, marketing, and health system teams on promoting Cologuard in October. 

Now what

These numbers aren't official yet. Exact Sciences won't report its final Q4 and full-year 2018 results until February. However, it's likely that the final numbers will match up pretty closely with the sneak peek that the company provided on Monday.

Exact Sciences has plenty of momentum currently with Cologuard sales continuing to ramp up. The company's partnership with Pfizer should pay even greater dividends in 2019. Exact Sciences also hopes to make progress with its efforts to develop liquid biopsy tests for early screening of multiple types of cancer. This stock isn't cheap, but its growth prospects could make it one for aggressive investors to keep on their radars.

Check out the latest Exact Sciences earnings call transcript.

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