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Abbott Analyst: Expert View On Rapid Coronavirus Antigen Test 'Clearly Bullish'

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Abbott Analyst: Expert View On Rapid Coronavirus Antigen Test 'Clearly Bullish'

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) shares rallied Thursday after the company's rapid COVID-19 test received emergency use authorization from the FDA.   

The Abbott Analyst: Bob Hopkins reiterated a Buy rating on Abbott Laboratories and increased the price target from $110 to $122.

The Abbott Thesis: BofA Securities held a call with a virology and microbiology expert regarding Abbott's test, Hopkins said in a Monday note. (See his track record here.)

The expert's view on Abbott's COVID-19 test was "clearly bullish," the analyst said; BofA did not name the expert in the note. 

Until real world data becomes available likely later this year, questions regarding accuracy in asymptomatic patients will remain unanswered, Hopkins said. 

Even if the sensitivity of the test falls to the mid-70s, the value could still be very high given Abbott's ability to mass produce at a low cost, and the ease of use advantages that come with the lateral flow test, the analyst said. 

Abbott plans to initiate studies on asymptomatic patients, he said. 

Abbott's new test is unlikely to negatively impact the PCR testing market, but if the accuracy is sustained, it could reduce the market for other antigen tests, Hopkins said. 

How the competitive dynamics will play out depends on where the U.S. government — which has bought all of Abbott's initial capacity — plans on distributing the first batch, the analyst said, citing the expert.

BofA attributed its upwardly revised price target not only due to the testing momentum but also to outstanding performance of Libre 2 glucose test; a favorable currency impact for the year; a nutrition business that's getting back to normal; and an improvement in surgical procedures.

ABT Price Action: Abbott shares were down 0.11% at $110.57 at last check Monday. 

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2 Moderna Analysts On Chances Of COVID-19 Vaccine Approval, Upcoming Catalysts

Latest Ratings for ABT

DateFirmActionFromTo
Oct 2020Credit SuisseMaintainsOutperform
Oct 2020JefferiesMaintainsBuy
Oct 2020Morgan StanleyMaintainsOverweight

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