Company Update (NASDAQ:EXAS): Exact Sciences Corporation Reports Strong Growth Trajectory for Cologuard™ in First-Quarter 2015

Exact Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAS) announced its business and financial results for the quarter endingMarch 31, 2015, reporting that 11,000 Cologuard tests were completed and that the number of ordering physicians more than doubled, increasing from 4,100 at the end of 2014 to 8,300 in the first quarter of 2015.

“We are pleased with the strong launch trajectory of Cologuard,” said Kevin Conroy, Exact Sciences’ chairman and CEO. “Demand among patients and physicians and acceptance among commercial insurers is accelerating.”

The company expanded its team of sales professionals from 80 to 140 during the first quarter and also entered into an exclusive co-promotion agreement with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The arrangement will bring Cologuard to even more physicians and their patients through Ironwood’s 160 sales professionals.

Exact Sciences also made steady progress securing coverage from commercial insurers during the first quarter. This included positive medical policy coverage decisions from Anthem BlueCross BlueShield (37 million covered lives), Tufts Health Plan (1 million), CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield PPO (2 million) and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York (1 million). The company also formally extended its collaboration with the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research by an additional five years and expanded its licensing agreement to include additional gastrointestinal conditions.

Financial Results

Exact Sciences reported total revenues of $4.3 million for the first quarter of 2015, compared to $0.3 million for the first quarter of 2014. Cologuard received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August 2014 and a final National Coverage Decision from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in October 2014.

For the first quarter of 2015 the company reported a net loss of ($35.8) million, or ($0.40) a share. The company had a net loss of ($16.1) million, or ($0.23) a share, for the same period of 2014.

Operating expenses for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, were $36.1 million, compared to $16.5 million for the first quarter of 2014.

Exact Sciences ended the first quarter of 2015 with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $245.2 million, compared to $282.8 millionat Dec. 31, 2014. (Original Source)

Shares of Exact Sciences closed last Friday at $22.02. EXAS has a 1-year high of $29.97 and a 1-year low of $10.69. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $22.71 and its 200-day moving average is $24.78.

On the ratings front, Exact Sciences has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on March 30, Canaccord Genuity analyst Mark Massaro maintained a Buy rating on EXAS, with a price target of $30, which represents a potential upside of 36.2% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on March 26, Goldman Sachs’ Isaac Ro downgraded the stock to Hold and has a price target of $24.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Mark Massaro and Isaac Ro have a total average return of -8.5% and -4.1% respectively. Massaro has a success rate of 33.3% and is ranked #3494 out of 3590 analysts, while Ro has a success rate of 50.0% and is ranked #3212.

The street is mostly Bullish on EXAS stock. Out of 5 analysts who cover the stock, 3 suggest a Buy rating and 2 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $26.20, which implies an upside of 19.0% from current levels.

Exact Sciences Corp is a molecular diagnostics company currently focused on the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer. It has developed a noninvasive, patient friendly screening test called Cologuard(R).

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