Illumina: Solid Margin Upside Affirms Bullish Outlook For 2015, Says BTIG’s Dane Leone

BTIG analyst Dane Leone reiterated a Buy rating on Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) and raised the price target to $240 (from $220), as the company reported fourth-quarter results and updated 2015 guidance after market close on Tuesday.

Leone noted, “The company had previously disclosed revenues and provided 2015 EPS guidance, but the upside on Operating Profit versus our expectations for 4Q:14 helps support our ‘Beat and Raise’ thesis for 2015. We anticipate that a formalized population sequencing program within the US, along with approval of pre natal testing using NGS in China, will be key value catalysts for the stock this year.”

The analyst continued, “We think strong instrument uptake of X Ten, MiSeq and NextSeq during 2014 set the stage for well-over +20% growth of Consumables during 2015. The benefit of the consumable pull-through tailwind we expect during 2015 also likely creates upside to current gross margin expectations, as consumables generally carry materially higher margins versus instrument sales.”

Illumina, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and function in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and South Africa. 

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