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Exact Sciences again ups projections for flagship product

July 26, 2017

Exact Sciences continues to raise the bar.

Strong sales for Exact’s (NASDAQ: EXAS) flagship product, the colorectal cancer test Cologuard, led the Madison, WI-based company to boost its 2017 revenue forecast to between $230 million and $240 million. That marks the second consecutive quarter that the company has increased sales projections for its stool-based DNA test. Investors liked the news, and they pushed the company’s stock price higher in after-hours trading.

Exact announced second-quarter results shortly after the close of the trading day Tuesday. As of 6:47 p.m. in New York, the company’s stock price was $38.75 a share, up about 3.8 percent from its closing price of $37.33 per share.

Cologuard earned FDA approval and Medicare coverage in 2014, and the company began selling the test later that year. To date, about 81,000 clinicians have ordered the test, up from about 70,000 at the end of March, Exact says.

“As patient and physician demand for Cologuard continues to grow, momentum is increasing toward Cologuard becoming part of the standard of care in colon cancer screening,” Kevin Conroy, Exact’s chairman and CEO, says in a prepared statement. “We will continue investing in the long-term and sustainable growth of Cologuard to ensure the millions of people who need to be screened for colon cancer have access to our non-invasive test.”

Like it has with revenue forecasts, the company has upped its projection of how many Cologuard tests it will complete in 2017: 550,000, up from 470,000 in April. Exact completed 244,000 Cologuard tests in 2016. It has reportedly been evaluating additional sites in Madison to process tests results.

Exact completed about 135,000 of the tests during the three-month period ending June 30. That’s ahead of the company’s projection that it would complete 115,000 tests during the period.

According to a press release, Exact expects to complete 150,000 Cologuard tests during the third quarter. That means the company would need to complete 165,000 tests of Cologuard in the year’s final three months to hit its 550,000-test target.

Exact’s revenues for the quarter were $57.6 million, which eclipsed analysts’ average estimate by more than $7.7 million.

The company reported a net loss of $30.8 million (27 cents a share), beating projections by 8 cents a share. Its net losses for the first quarter of 2017 and second quarter of 2016 were $34.9 million and $44.8 million, respectively.

Exact’s strong revenue growth reflects the increase in payer coverage of Cologuard. The company says that 86 percent of patients who should be screened for colorectal cancer receive health insurance through payers that cover Cologuard.

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