Shares of genetic-testing company Invitae (NYSE:NVTA) rose over 13% today on an upbeat day for the stock market. The S&P 500 rose over 1.5% as investors cheered plans by some countries and U.S. states to soon begin reopening parts of their economies.
While the broad economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic might take quarters or years to repair, the genetic testing industry might experience a faster recovery. That's because strict stay-at-home orders are negatively impacting the number of genetic tests and diagnostics ordered by doctors. But if restrictions are loosened in the coming weeks or months, then doctors should be able to resume certain types of essential services, such as hereditary tests for pregnant women or oncology testing for cancer patients.
As of 3:15 p.m. EDT, the growth stock had settled to a 8.4% gain.
Invitae hasn't publicly commented on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted operations, but investors can likely expect at least a short-term drop. Peer NeoGenomics reported a 20% decline in test volumes in the final two weeks of March and in early April, compared with the year-ago period.
Invitae is scheduled to report first-quarter 2020 earnings and update its outlook on May 5. A temporary slowdown in growth might not matter much in the long run, but a growth-at-all-costs business model doesn't leave the company well positioned to endure a prolonged economic rut. Investors will need to await further details before lazily assuming the business will be spared.