What happened

Shares of Repligen (NASDAQ:RGEN), a leading provider of proteins and filtration technology that is used to manufacture biologic drugs, rose 10.6% on Friday. 

The jump doesn't appear to be caused by any company-specific news. Instead, the double-digit increase was most likely caused by the marketwide buying frenzy on Friday. All three major U.S. market indices -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq -- all rang up a greater than 9% gain on Friday.

So what

The vast majority of growth stocks have fallen rapidly in the last few weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Repligen's stock declined more than 20% in the last two weeks of February, but has actually been climbing ever since.

Repligen's stock is currently up more than 6% since the start of the year, which is a very strong performance given that the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are all down 9% or more during the same time frame.

Scientists working in lab

Image source: Getty Images.

Given the lack of news since its last earnings report, it is possible that traders believe the coronavirus outbreak will drive additional demand for the company's products in the near term.

Now what

Repligen is coming off a great 2019. Revenue grew 39% to $270 million, gross margin expanded by 50 basis points, and adjusted EPS expanded 62% to $1.07. 

However, management indicated in February that its growth rates would slow down in 2020. The company's full year guidance called for revenue growth of 14% to 18%, which is good in absolute terms, but a sharp slowdown when compared to its 2019 results. Adjusted profit growth was also expected to slow to a crawl.

The good news for investors is that the company still believes it can double its annual revenue by 2023. It's worth noting that its ambitious goal was set before the coronavirus outbreak was kicked into high gear. With billions of dollars being poured into creating a coronavirus vaccine, it's possible that Repligen's high growth rates could return sooner rather than later.