What happened

Shares of Fluidigm (NASDAQ:FLDM) were soaring 14.6% higher as of 10:55 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. The jump marked the second consecutive day of double-digit gains for the medical device stock. Fluidigm's momentum appears to be related to the expanding opportunities for use of the company's systems in COVID-19 testing.

So what

Fluidigm announced its first-quarter results on Thursday, May 7, 2020. The immediate reaction to the company's Q1 update wasn't great. Fluidigm's revenue fell 8% year over year, and the company reported a wider adjusted net loss than it had in the prior-year period.

COVID-19 printed against blue background with red plastic balls representing the coronavirus

Image source: Getty Images.

However, investors appear to have shrugged off those less-than-stellar results and are instead focusing on Fluidigm's growth prospects. The company's Biomark system allows labs to process up to 6,000 samples each day and is already being used for COVID-19 testing. Fluidigm's mass cytometry platform is also being used to measure immune response in experimental COVID-19 treatments.

The company is working toward obtaining an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA this quarter for its Biomark system in COVID-19 testing. Currently Fluidigm's customers are filing for EUAs for their COVID-19 testing using Biomark. If Fluidigm wins its own EUA for the Biomark system, it should help the company land more business.

Now what

The COVID-19 pandemic caused some challenges for Fluidigm, as customers significantly slowed down their testing in the wake of the viral outbreak. However, those issues should be temporary. Assuming that the FDA grants an EUA to the Biomark system for use in COVID-19 testing, Fluidigm could emerge from the crisis stronger than before. The healthcare stock's momentum seems to indicate that investors are counting on this to happen.

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