Stock Update (NASDAQ:EXAS): Exact Sciences Announces Aetna Medicare Advantage to Cover Cologuard®


Exact Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ:EXAS) announced that Aetna, one of the country’s leading health plans, will cover Cologuard under its Medicare Advantage plan, reaching 967,000 members across the country. The three year agreement will go into effect on April 1, 2015.

Cologuard is the first and only FDA approved noninvasive stool-based DNA (sDNA) screening test for colon cancer. The test will be available to Aetna’s Medicare Advantage members through their physician without a co-payment or co-insurance.

“We look forward to working with Aetna to provide their members with a new option for colon cancer screening. Colon cancer is most treatable when caught early, underscoring the importance of routine screening,” said Kevin Conroy, Chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences.

Cologuard offers people 50 years and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer an easy to use screening test which they can do in the privacy of their own home. Unlike many other screening options, Cologuard does not require medication, dietary restrictions or bowel preparation prior to taking the test. It is the first noninvasive screening test for colorectal cancer that analyzes both sDNA and blood biomarkers to detect cancer and precancer. Cologuard is available by prescription only.

Shares of Exact Sciences Corp closed yesterday at $21.06 . 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 $26.12 and it’s 200-day moving average is $24.01.

On the ratings front, Exact Sciences Corp has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on February 25, Wedbush analyst Zarak Khurshid reiterated a Hold rating on EXAS, with a price target of $18, which reflects a potential downside of -14.5% from last closing price. Separately, on February 24, Canaccord Genuity’s Mark Massaro maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $27.

In total, one research analyst has assigned a Hold rating and 6 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $21.06 which is 34.5% above where the stock closed yesterday.

Exact Sciences Corp is a molecular diagnostics company focused on the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer.

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