EXACT Sciences (NASDAQ:EXAS) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of EXACT Sciences (NASDAQ:EXAS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $129.00 target price on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “EXACT Sciences Corporation uses applied genomics to develop effective, patient-friendly screening technologies for use in the detection of cancer. Certain of its technologies have been licensed to Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings for a stool-based DNA screening assay for colorectal cancer in the average-risk population. Colorectal cancer, which is the most deadly cancer among non-smokers, is generally curable if detected early. Despite the availability of colorectal cancer screening and diagnostic tests for more than twenty years, the rate of early detection of colorectal cancer remains low, and deaths from colorectal cancer remain high. EXACT Sciences believes its genomics-based technologies would help to enable detection of colorectal cancer so that more people can be effectively treated. “

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on EXAS. UBS Group raised their target price on EXACT Sciences from $120.00 to $143.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday. BTIG Research raised their target price on EXACT Sciences to $130.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Canaccord Genuity reissued a buy rating and set a $125.00 target price (up previously from $118.00) on shares of EXACT Sciences in a research note on Wednesday, July 17th. Jefferies Financial Group raised their target price on EXACT Sciences from $100.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, BidaskClub cut EXACT Sciences from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 17th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $118.91.

EXAS stock traded up $0.04 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $115.07. 1,470,671 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,995,720. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $115.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 2.79 and a quick ratio of 8.13. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.89 billion, a PE ratio of -84.61 and a beta of 1.61. EXACT Sciences has a 1-year low of $47.78 and a 1-year high of $123.99.

EXACT Sciences (NASDAQ:EXAS) last posted its earnings results on Monday, July 29th. The medical research company reported ($0.30) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.56) by $0.26. The company had revenue of $199.87 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $182.18 million. EXACT Sciences had a negative return on equity of 28.90% and a negative net margin of 35.43%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 94.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned ($0.30) earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that EXACT Sciences will post -1.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Katherine S. Zanotti sold 1,744 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.93, for a total transaction of $205,669.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 42,844 shares in the company, valued at $5,052,592.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Jeffrey Thomas Elliott sold 9,845 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.60, for a total value of $1,039,632.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 41,012 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,330,867.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in EXAS. First Hawaiian Bank boosted its position in shares of EXACT Sciences by 160.0% during the first quarter. First Hawaiian Bank now owns 325 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $28,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Buffington Mohr McNeal purchased a new position in EXACT Sciences in the first quarter valued at $30,000. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC purchased a new position in EXACT Sciences in the first quarter valued at $37,000. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. boosted its holdings in EXACT Sciences by 130.2% in the first quarter. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. now owns 442 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $38,000 after purchasing an additional 250 shares during the period. Finally, Harvest Group Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in EXACT Sciences in the first quarter valued at $39,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.30% of the company’s stock.

EXACT Sciences Company Profile

Exact Sciences Corporation, a molecular diagnostics company, focuses on developing products for the early detection and prevention of various cancers in the United States. The company offers Cologuard, a non-invasive stool-based DNA screening test for the early detection of colorectal cancer and pre-cancer.

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