The arrival of omicron in Australia has led to a further increase in COVID testing volumes and Australian Clinical Laboratories (ASX: ACL) is one of the beneficiary companies.
This morning, the company improved its forecast for the first half of fiscal 22 for the second time in four months.
Once again, he credited the strong demand for COVID testing but also a positive performance from its non-COVID pathology business.
Previously, its revenues were between $ 437.5 million and $ 454 million, and profit between $ 86.3 million and $ 94.9 million.
But now he estimates revenue will be between $ 497.3 million and $ 517.2 million, and profit between $ 116.3 million and $ 128 million.
Australian Clinical Labs noted that NSW and Victoria were strong where the number of COVID-19 cases is higher in other states, but also where residents can travel between states once again but generally require COVID testing before. departure.
“We expect increased COVID-19 testing volumes to continue through the remainder of FY22 due to the impacts of new variants and outbreaks, the lifting of travel restrictions, and increased demand for commercial and travel testing. Said CEO Melinda McGrath.
However, Australian Clinical Labs did not provide guidance for the entire year, noting that COVID test numbers were often volatile.
The company’s shares are up 9% this morning and more than 35% since its IPO earlier this year.
Australian Clinical Labs Stock Price Table (ASX: ACL)
Other businesses benefiting from COVID testing
While Australian Clinical Labs recently passed the $ 1 billion market cap, it is still a minnow compared to Healius (ASX: HLS) and Sonic Healthcare (ASX: SHL) which are currently capitalized at $ 3.35 billion and $ 21.48 billion respectively.
Both companies, like Australian Clinical Labs, achieved outstanding results in FY21 using COVID testing as well as their other pathology departments.
Sonic was the most recent to provide a trading update, stating that revenue and profit for the first four months of FY22 was 5% and 16% higher, respectively, than in the previous corresponding period.
This followed a one-time profit for fiscal year 21, in which its net income grew 149% to $ 1.3 billion and revenue rose 28% to $ 8.8 billion.
Healius also recorded a one-time profit in FY21, recording pre-tax profit of $ 252.8 million, up 103% from the previous year.
And the two companies, along with Australian Clinical Labs, have recently been on the M&A trail with Healius buying Agilex Biolabs for $ 301.3 million and Sonic buying ProPath for an unspecified amount – both deals coming to light. last week.
A small cap stock benefiting from the COVID testing boom is Atomo diagnostic (ASX: AT1) which provides rapid tests.
Rapid tests have only been authorized by the TGA in recent months and Atomo is one such vendor. After selling less than 5,000 units in fiscal 21, it sold 100,000 units in the September quarter alone.