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Why Myriad Genetics, Inc. Shares Soared

By Alex Planes – Feb 5, 2014 at 1:40PM

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Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Myriad Genetics (MYGN 1.70%) are trading 11% higher today after the company delivered a one-two punch of good news to the markets. The company not only posted strong earnings and updated its full-year guidance to levels above Wall Street's consensus; it also acquired a rival diagnostics company.

So what: Myriad's fiscal second quarter showed excellent growth -- the company's revenue soared 37% higher year over year to reach $204.1 million, and earnings were $0.66 per share. Both numbers were well above what Wall Street expected as the consensus was for $175.1 million in revenue and $0.46 in EPS. Myriad now anticipates full-year revenue in the $740 million to $750 million range and full-year EPS in the $2.09 to $2.12 range. Wall Street was looking for $703.2 million on the top line and $1.96 on the bottom line, so Myriad is looking quite good for the two quarters remaining in its 2014 fiscal year.

Myriad didn't think stomping all over Wall Street's expectations was enough for one day, though. The company acquired privately held Crescendo Bioscience, an autoimmune diagnostics company, for $270 million, $25 million of which will repay Crescendo's outstanding loans. Crescendo's focus on rheumatoid arthritis was specifically noted as a major reason for the acquisition, as was its strength in protein-based diagnostics.

Now what: Myriad shares have been bouncing around between $20 and $30 for years, but revenue and earnings have both shown strong upward momentum in the past few years. At a P/E of just 14.4, Myriad is undeniably inexpensive for a sector that should experience strong growth in the coming years, and its acquisition should help bolster the bottom line over the long run as well. This pop seems to be the real deal, and if you were on the fence about Myriad before, you might want to take a closer look today.

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Alex Planes has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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