What happened

Shares of Exact Sciences (NASDAQ:EXAS) jumped 21.5% in November, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the diagnostic testing company posted solid third-quarter results and announced an acquisition that could help drive growth in the years to come.

So what

In the third quarter, revenue increased a whopping 87% year over year as the healthcare company benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic; sales of coronavirus tests added $102 million to the overall revenue of $408 million. The year-over-year comparison was also boosted by the addition of $91.6 million in sales of precision oncology tests that Exact Sciences got in the acquisition of Genomic Health, which closed last November. Screening revenue, which includes sales of Exact's legacy colon cancer test, Cologuard, and revenue from Biomatrica products, fell 2% year over year.

On the bottom line, the company lost $219.9 million in the quarter, but almost all of the loss was due to a $209.7 million charge for an intangible asset impairment for research and development on a new version of the Oncotype DX test that Exact got in the Genomic Health acquisition. Backing that charge out, the $10 million loss was better than the $40 million loss in the year-ago quarter.

Doctor working at a computer

Image source: Getty Images.

On the same day that earnings were released, Exact Sciences also announced plans to acquire Thrive Earlier Detection, a privately held company focused on the early cancer detection. Thrive's CancerSEEK test is able to detect 10 different types of tumors from a blood sample. The price tag of up to $2.15 billion seems like a reasonable price to get into the $25 billion-plus early detection market.

Now what

Thrive's test will fit nicely with the cancer teats from Genomic Health that help doctors determine the best course of action once patients are diagnosed with cancer. The deal, which Exact Sciences is paying for with stock and cash, is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2021.

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