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Quest Diagnostics Closes Deal to Acquire 2 Labs in Texas

Well ahead of the expected time of completion, Quest Diagnostics DGX closed the earlier-announced deal to acquire two laboratory businesses in Lewisville, TX, namely, Med Fusion and Clear Point. This is in line with the company’s plan to fast expand in the high-growth cancer diagnostic market.

The businesses jointly provide a complete range of diagnostic services to physicians and provider networks. This acquisition will allow Quest Diagnostics to establish a center of excellence to provide diagnostic services for the detection and management of cancer. 

Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH), The US Oncology Network or the Network (supported by McKesson Specialty Health), Texas Oncology and Pathologists Bio-Medical Laboratories (PBM) are co-owners of one or both the businesses.

Quest Diagnostics will team up with McKesson Specialty Health, The Network and Texas Oncology to enhance Med Fusion’s model, which has been created to standardize next-generation gene sequencing panels to help in selecting the therapy and monitoring of cancer.

After completion of the deal, Quest Diagnostics is now a preferred provider of advanced oncology diagnostics for The Network and Texas Oncology.

Primarily, Quest Diagnostics will offer services to 12 BSWH hospitals in North Texas and 400 independent, community-based physicians nationally that are affiliated with The Network, including Texas Oncology.

We believe that the deal is perfectly aligned with Quest Diagnostics’ goal to capture the high-potential global oncology diagnostic market. On account of the data provided by American Cancer Society, nearly 1.7 million people are likely to be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. in 2017. In this regard, Quest Diagnostics is taking strategic steps to capture the market.

According to Markets and Markets, the global cancer diagnostics market is expected to reach a worth of $13.1 billion by 2020, and is poised to see a CAGR of 12.9% during the of 2015 to 2020 period. The company clearly has bountiful opportunities in this niche market.

Over the last three months, Quest Diagnostics has been observed to outperform the Zacks categorized Medical - Outpatient and Home Healthcare industry. As per the latest share price movement, the company has gained 6.4%, as compared to the 5.7% gain of the broader industry.

Recent Developments

Recently, Quest Diagnostics announced plans to acquire the outreach laboratory services business of Cape Cod Healthcare (CCHC).  Notably, CCHC provides healthcare services to residents and visitors of Cape Cod.  The deal, if concluded, is expected to provide quality, affordable and convenient laboratory services to Cape Cod residents.

Within its advanced diagnostics business, Quest Diagnostics, along with its onchology francise partner Memorial Sloan Kettering, has teamed up with IBM to form IBM Health Watson. With about 70% of the oncology prospects being in community healthcare centers instead of large urban centers, this is a huge opportunity for the companies.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Quest Diagnostics currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked medical stocks are Mesa Laboratories, Inc. MLAB, INSYS Therapeutics, Inc. INSY and Align Technology, Inc. ALGN. Notably, INSYS Therapeutics sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Mesa Laboratories and Align Technology carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Mesa Laboratories has a positive earnings surprise of 2.84% for the last four quarters. The stock has added roughly 8.9% over the last three months.

INSYS Therapeutics has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 20%. The stock has gained around 24.3% over the last three months.

Align Technology has an expected long-term adjusted earnings growth of almost 24.1%. The stock has added roughly 34.5% over the last three months.

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