Opko Health Inc (NASDAQ:OPK) is seeing renewed investor interest. The stock popped up 12.6% on Friday to set a new year high of $2.32. The gain came on big volume too as more than 100 million shares of Opko were traded, marking the biggest single-day volume we’ve seen for this stock since the year began.
Notably, Opko stock bucked the collapse of the broader stock market. The S&P 500 Index fell 1.71% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 1.87% on Friday. Opko stock gained 55% in the past week, bringing its gains since the end of January to 60%.
The renewed investor interest in Opko stock stems from the company’s association with the coronavirus. The virus that broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December has now spread to more than 90 countries with global infections topping 105,000 cases and deaths exceeding 3,000. The World Health Organization (WHO) last week warned that the coronavirus is actually more deadly than previously thought. WHO now puts the coronavirus mortality rate to 3.4%. It previously estimated mortality rate at 2.0%.
The outbreak also poses huge threat to the global economy. Airlines have suspended flights, factories aren’t able to run optimally and products companies cannot secure enough supplies to meet demand. The effects that coronavirus is having on global business activities and supply chain have led Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) to issue revenue warnings. In this situation, the world is scrambling to stop the coronavirus.
For Opko Health, the coronavirus crisis has created a perfect business opportunity. In a short while, we’ll see how Opko stands to cash in on the coronavirus outbreak. You will also understand why Opko stock is one of the smart bets for investors looking to ride the coronavirus wave. But first, here is a brief profile of Opko Health for the benefit of those investors who may be coming across this company for the very first time.
About Opko Health (NASDAQ:OPK)
Opko Health is an American company in the healthcare sector. It runs a diversified business. Its unit known as BioReference Laboratories is one of America’s largest full-service clinical laboratories, providing comprehensive disease testing service. The company also has a pharmaceutical division through which it is engaged in developing treatments for various health conditions, including diabetes and cancers. Opko says it is on a mission to address unmet patient needs.
Opko Health (NASDAQ:OPK) to cash in on the growing demand for coronavirus tests
In addition to being deadly, coronavirus is also contagious. Therefore, governments and global health organizations are investing in coronavirus testing to help identify infected people quickly and quarantine them to limit the spread of the virus.
Last week, President Donald Trump approved $8.3 billion in emergency fund to fight the coronavirus. Among other things, the funds will be used for coronavirus tests in the United States. And here is where things get exciting for Opko. Opko is one of the clinical laboratory operators that have been cleared to provide coronavirus testing service. Through its BioReference Laboratories unit, Opko will start offering coronavirus tests from this week.
BioReference has an extensive network of patient service centers backed by a national logistic network. Therefore, it is able to provide coronavirus testing across the country and make the most of the high demand for coronavirus tests.
Offering coronavirus tests provides a great opportunity for Opko to grow its lab services revenue. The company derives most of its revenue from providing lab services.
Opko has what it takes to go for the opportunities
In addition to Opko’s opportunity to cash in on the coronavirus, investors will also like the stock for its improving financial results and strong balance sheet. Opko’s revenue rose to $224.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, from $221.9 million a year ago. The company closed 2019 with $2.3 billion in assets and only $695 million in liabilities. Moreover, the company wrapped up the year with $85.5 million in cash reserve and recently secured $100 million in credit facility. Therefore, Opko has ample cash to pursue its goals as it works to create more value for shareholders.
Finally, investors looking to cash in on the coronavirus outbreak will no doubt find Opko an incredible stock. Although Opko has already made big moves, the runway is still long. At $2.32 currently, the stock is still far off its all-time high of about $20, which now looks within striking distance given the opportunity for the company in the coronavirus testing. With an extensive network of patient service centers and a national logistic network, BioReference will provide expanded access to a COVID-19 testing across the United States. This makes Opko Health a smart coronavirus play for investors.
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Disclosure: We have no position in Opko Health and have not been compensated for this article.