Shares of Invitae (NYSE:NVTA) closed down 11.3% today as the broader market continued to fall. Investors are coming to grips that efforts to contain regional coronavirus outbreaks -- in fact, the novel coronavirus was just declared a global pandemic -- will have a significant negative impact on the global economy. And they're adjusting accordingly.
While there wasn't any company-specific news today, growth stocks tend to trade at healthy premiums. That makes them prime targets during market corrections -- and they tend to fall the hardest.
As of market close, shares of Invitae had settled to an 11.2% loss. The growth stock has now lost 1.7% since the beginning of 2020.
The genetic testing company's growth-at-all-costs strategy has excited investors, who have generally been willing to forgo profits today in the hope of generating higher profits tomorrow. But global economic downturns have a funny way of shifting priorities around.
Invitae reported an operating loss of $244 million in 2019, which was double the total reported in 2018. While the business began 2020 with more than $391 million in cash to plow into expansion efforts and stomach continued losses, investors might be a little less willing to accept that much red ink during a recession, the odds of which have increased thanks to the coronavirus.
Growth stocks and volatility tend to go hand in hand in good times. The current market correction is simply amplifying those effects. The main takeaway for investors is that panicking or making emotional money moves isn't going to help the situation. Investors with a long-term mindset shouldn't necessarily expect the opportunity in genetic testing to be affected in the long run if or when a recession hits. Therefore, doing nothing is probably the best bet. If Invitae eases off its growth plans to preserve cash, then even better.