Fulgent Earnings Soar on Covid Testing Surge

Fulgent Earnings Soar on Covid Testing Surge
Fulgent Genetics Inc. Chief Executive Ming Hsieh.

Count Temple City genetic testing company Fulgent Genetics Inc. among the winners from the early phases of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fulgent on Aug. 4 reported a 10-fold increase in earnings and a doubling of revenue for the second quarter as the company’s test volume skyrocketed in large part because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The news sent Fulgent shares up 21% on Aug. 5.

Fulgent posted second-quarter earnings of $3.3 million, up from $331,000 in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose 105% to $17.3 million from $8.4 million in the second quarter in 2019.

The revenue and earnings surges were driven by a huge increase in test volume. The company reported 180,513 “billable tests” during the second quarter, a 1,003% increase from the second quarter of last year and a 13-fold increase from the first quarter of this year.

During the second quarter, Fulgent received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to use multiple tests to detect Covid-19. Fulgent also became the main Covid-19 testing supplier for the Los Angeles County Public Health department.

“The global Covid-19 pandemic has tested who we are as a company, and now more than ever we have demonstrated that Fulgent is a technology company with a proprietary platform built for massive scale,” Fulgent Chief Executive Ming Hsieh said in the company’s earnings announcement.

“Our second-quarter results illustrate how we quickly applied our technology to the needs of today, organically developing and launching multiple tests to detect Covid-19 with emergency use authorization from the FDA, including an at-home test offered through Picture Genetics, our patient-initiated product,” Hsieh continued. “These offerings have attracted major new customer accounts, resulting in an inflection point in our business and outlook.”

In a call with analysts, Hsieh said the company is on track to reach more than 700,000 billable tests in each of the next several quarters. If the company attains that goal, it would represent another five-fold increase in test volume.

Investors greeted the earnings news with enthusiasm, sending Fulgent’s share price up more than 40% at market open on Aug. 5 to a 52-week high of $43.64; the share price closed Aug. 5 at $36.14, up 21% since the Aug. 4 close.

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