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With the cold and flu season rapidly approaching, and two recent viral vaccine candidates for COVID-19 just put on pause, the global health system and the world economy both hang in the balance. And the X-Factor that will determine a great deal about how we come through this process is “Testing”.

New data from the NY Times yesterday states that new coronavirus cases are trending upward in 39 states, pushing the U.S. curve to its highest level since August.

Testing – pervasively available, rapid with results, and cheap to process – is the key to this lock. The ability to locate those infected, quickly and effectively, is the best weapon we have right now to maintaining some semblance of normal life until we’re past the pandemic.

In addition, the idea that top testing resources will no longer be important once we have a vaccine is probably unrealistic. According to a Bloomberg article this week, the CEO of pharma giant, Ely Lilly, said that “COVID-19 will be endemic even with Vaccines”.

With that in mind, here are a few of the more interesting and active names that fit the bill: Fulgent Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: FLGT), Allstar Health Brands Inc. (OTC: ALST), and Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX).

 

Fulgent Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: FLGT) bills itself as a company that provides genetic testing services to physicians with clinically actionable diagnostic information. Its technology platform integrates data comparison and suppression algorithms, adaptive learning software, and genetic diagnostics tools and integrated laboratory processes.

The company primarily serves hospitals and medical institutions. It sells its tests through internal sales force, as well as through independent sales representatives in the United States and internationally.

Fulgent Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: FLGT) most recently announced that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has selected Fulgent Genetics for their COVID-19 testing needs.

“We look forward to aiding the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in their effort to protect their employees and curb the spread of COVID-19 across their facilities,” commented Brandon Perthuis, Chief Commercial Officer of Fulgent Genetics. “Our Enterprise Platform offering enables the ODRC to test their employees in an extremely efficient manner, a process that takes approximately one minute per person. This offering provides a flexible and comprehensive testing solution for the ODRC that utilizes our gold-standard RT-PCR testing capabilities. Fulgent continues to raise the bar in offering COVID-19 testing solutions that meet the needs of large organizations and municipalities in a highly efficient and accurate manner.”

Even in light of this news, FLGT has had a rough past week of trading action, with shares sinking something like -15% in that time. That said, chart support is nearby and we may be in the process of constructing a nice setup for some movement back the other way.

Fulgent Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: FLGT) generated sales of $17.3M, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 122.7% on the top line. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($21M against $6.5M).

 

Allstar Health Brands Inc. (OTC: ALST) is a specialty pharmaceutical and nutritional supplements company. One of its core assets at this point is its partnership with TPT Global Tech, a technology and solutions company. The two companies are collaborating to create and distribute the QuickLAB module, a rapid testing solution for Covid-19.

The two companies had already recently signed an agreement for Mexico and other Latin American countries through TPT Global Tech’s partner New Orbit Technologies. Now, they have signed an expanded agreement to bring QuickLAB distribution to Canada and US to add to the existing Non-Exclusive Distribution Agreement for Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Allstar Health Brands Inc. (OTC: ALST) most recently announced that advanced negotiations are underway in Florida for up to three new QuikLAB mobile testing units.

Dr. Daniel Bagi, President of AllStar, observed,” We believe these QuikLAB mobile test units are the way of the future. They can be set up almost anywhere and can perform several thousand tests per day, giving results within minutes with the Antibody tests and under two hours for the PCR tests. Various types of testing can be performed from Antibody to PCR to Antigen tests. Our clients especially like that, the tests will be performed in self-standing mobile units outside of other retail establishments and thus may reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 infections. In addition to the mobile testing units, AllStar expects to supply some of the antibody and PCR test kits.”

Allstar Health Brands Inc. (OTC: ALST) generated sales of $178K, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 224.2% on the top line. ALST is surely a more speculative name on this list. But with the company’s recent expansion and partnership, it may also be the most underpriced.

 

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) promulgates itself as a company that provides diagnostic testing information and services in the United States and internationally. The company’s Diagnostic Information Services business segment develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, gene-based and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology, and other diagnostic information services.

This segment offers diagnostic information services primarily under the Quest Diagnostics brand, as well as under the AmeriPath, Dermpath Diagnostics, Athena Diagnostics, ExamOne, and Quanum brands to patients, clinicians, hospitals, integrated delivery networks, health plans, employers, and accountable care organizations through a network of laboratories, patient service centers, phlebotomists in physician offices, call centers and mobile paramedics, nurses, and other health and wellness professionals.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) recently announced that it has received the prestigious C. Everett Koop National Health Award for 2020. According to the release, Named for C. Everett Koop, the 13th Surgeon General of the United States (1982-1989), the award is given by The Health Project to organizations that demonstrate their health programs deliver significant health improvements and business results. In a quarter of a century, fewer than 70 organizations have won the honor.

“Quest Diagnostics is committed to fostering a healthier world, starting with our employees,” said Steve Rusckowski, Chairman, CEO and President, Quest Diagnostics. “To achieve that goal, we empower our employees with health insights, based on lab and biometric data. But we don’t stop there. We also provide our employees with access to medical expertise and support programs tailored to their individual needs, helping them to adopt healthier behaviors and access better care at lower costs. We are proud to be recognized for our achievements with the C. Everett Koop Award.”

Even in light of this news, DGX hasn’t really done much of anything over the past week, with shares logging no net movement over that period.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) generated sales of $1.8B, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 0.3% on the top line. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($988M against $1.8B, respectively).

 

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