At some point, it becomes apparent that Dad has been given enough ties, pajamas, golf balls, and yarn-wrapped tin cans (i.e., pencil holders from the grandkids) to last a lifetime of Father's Days. It's time to stop the madness and shake Dad from both his malaise and the hammock.

Wake up, Dad! Here are some shares of Gen-Probe (NASDAQ:GPRO). Once he comes to his senses, you could explain some of your reasoning behind this year's present:

  • Founded in 1983, the company has emerged as a leader in the nucleic acid diagnostics industry.
  • The company's nucleic acid test technologies provide faster and more accurate disease detection than immunoassay or culture testing.
  • Key products include tests for sexually transmitted diseases and microbial infectious diseases such as chlamydia, HIV-1, and hepatitis C, as well as specialized laboratory instrumentation.
  • An active pipeline includes assays for West Nile Virus (currently used in U.S. blood centers under an Investigational New Drug Application and representing 80% of this blood screening market) and prostate cancer.
  • A sound cash flow assists strong investment in research and development, which is also developing future products for oncological and industrial applications.
  • Targeting its new hepatitis B test at Western Europe and Japan, the company seeks aggressive growth and has its eye on new markets.

Strategic alliances to leverage access to technologies and markets with various companies include Chiron, a unit of Novartis (NYSE:NVS), DiagnoCure, Roche, and General Electric (NYSE:GE).

The company boasts a healthy balance sheet, with approximately $243.1 million in cash and no long-term debt.

First-quarter results, reported last month, showed a 25% increase in revenues and a 32% growth in product sales.

Business Week named the company in its "2006 Hot Growth Companies Special Report," citing an average 62.6% profit growth over the past three years.

Shares can always be returned to Mr. Market, but would Dad want to? The world's a beautiful but germy place which always seems to be spawning nasty new diseases. More effective and widely distributed diagnostic tools are needed more than additional neckties. Gen-Probe can help do that, while also injecting growth into an otherwise lethargic portfolio. If that notion doesn't perk Dad up, you might suggest some blood work.

Happy Father's Day!

For more paternal Foolishness:

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Fool contributor S.J. Caplan does not own shares of the companies mentioned. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.