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How Long Will Fulgent Genetics Benefit From the Pandemic?

By Brian Orelli, PhD and Keith Speights - Updated Jun 26, 2021 at 10:15PM

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Genetic testing for the coronavirus is slowing.

Fulgent Genetics (FLGT -0.84%) reported solid first-quarter results, boosted by the company's move into COVID-19 testing. In this video from Motley Fool Live, recorded on May 10, contributors Brian Orelli and Keith Speights discuss how long that benefit could last and how investors should value the company accordingly.

Brian Orelli: The number of COVID-19 tests performed in the U.S. has been dropping precipitously. That's caused companies like Quidel (QDEL) to reduce their guidance. But it looks like Fulgent Genetics had quite a good first quarter nonetheless, even with those dropping amount of tests.

Keith Speights: Yeah. Brian, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that when a company delivers year-over-year revenue growth that's more than 4,500%, it's a pretty good quarter. Wouldn't you say?

Orelli: Yeah. We don't see that too often.

Speights: No. That's what Fulgent did in Q1. They had revenue of a little over $359 million. In the prior-year period, their sales were only $7.8 million. That's where that 4,500% plus year-over-year growth came from. Of course, that also trickled down to the bottom line. The company posted a solid profit in Q1 on both the GAAP and non-GAAP basis. They had net losses in the prior-year period, so that was a significant improvement.

A key growth driver for Fulgent was unsurprisingly increased COVID-19 tests, and as you mentioned, the company however clearly thinks that those testing rates are going to continue to fall going forward. They are projecting Q2 revenue of $200 million. That's a lot lower than $359 million or so in Q1. Then Fulgent looks for full-year revenue of $830 million, so if you backtrack on some of the numbers there, you see that they're only forecasting $271 million in sales for the entire second half of 2021. They're anticipating the COVID testing rates really falling off and I think they'll probably be right.

It's obvious that the company is trying to change its focus somewhat. I saw that their CFO, Paul Kim, said in the press release announcing their results that the company is focused on "driving momentum in our non-COVID business" as life gets back to some semblance of normalcy. I think Fulgent's gravy train is going to dry out to some degree and they're going to have to focus on other aspects of their business for growth.

Orelli: But it's fallen quite a bit from its high, so I think that most of that is already priced into their stock.

Speights: Yeah.

Brian Orelli, PhD and Keith Speights have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Fulgent Genetics and Quidel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Fulgent Genetics, Inc. Stock Quote
Fulgent Genetics, Inc.
$51.77 (-0.84%) $0.44
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