LabCorp’s LH continued efforts to expand to high-growth opportunity areas and net savings from the ongoing LaunchPad initiative buoy optimism. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
In the third quarter of 2022, LabCorp Diagnostics performed well with Base Business revenue growth of 3.7% year over year and 4% CAGR versus 2019. With Ascension being organic in the upcoming quarter, the company expects full-year revenue growth of 6% to 7%.
Drug Development Base Business fundamentals remained strong in Q3. The company expects full-year CAGR of almost 8% from 2019. Further, LabCorp is accelerating the planned spin-off of its Clinical Development business (announced in July). The company noted that it is managing inflationary headwinds and labor constraints through its LaunchPad initiatives.
In terms of portfolio enhancement, the company formed a strategic partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center Foundation in Spain to increase access to early-phase oncology clinical trials. The company also entered into a collaboration with Becton, Dickinson and Company to help match patients with critical and potentially life-changing treatments for cancer and other diseases. The company has also seen growing demand for its at-home testing and collection options through Labcorp OnDemand.
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings Price
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings price | Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings Quote
In Oncology, LabCorp is benefiting from Personal Genome Diagnostics, an omni portfolio that includes advanced liquid biopsy, tissue-based diagnostics and kitting solutions. The company currently has the broadest portfolio and capabilities in oncology diagnostics.
On the flip side, over the past year, LabCorp has underperformed its industry. Shares of LabCorp have declined 8% compared with the industry’s 2.4% decline.
LabCorp’s revenues for the third quarter lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate and fell year over year. The decline in revenues can be attributed to a 10.7% fall in organic revenues and a 1.3% negative impact from foreign currency translation. The reduced sales growth across the company’s Diagnostics and Covance Drug Development operating segments on a reported basis raises apprehension.
The ongoing decline in COVID-19 testing sales is discouraging too. Further, the significant plunge in EPS is worrisome. The persistent inflationary pressure and the ongoing Ukraine/Russia crisis continue to impact business performance.
As a result of escalating costs, gross margin contracted 472 basis points (bps) to 29.4% in the third quarter. Adjusted operating income marked a 36.5% plunge from the year-ago period. Meanwhile, the adjusted operating margin declined 606 bps from the year-ago quarter to 15.2%. This decline in adjusted operating income and margin is primarily attributable to a reduction in COVID-19 testing, higher personnel expenses and other inflationary costs during the quarter under review.
Other Stocks to Consider
Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN, Cardinal Health, Inc. CAH and Merit Medical Systems, Inc. MMSI.
AMN Healthcare, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 at present, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 3.3%. AMN’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 10.9%.
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
AMN Healthcare lost 2.9% against the industry’s 4.9% rise between Oct 1, 2022 and Dec 31, 2022.
Cardinal Health, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 at present, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 11.7%. CAH’s earnings surpassed estimates in two of the trailing four quarters and missed the same in the other two, the average beat being 3%.
Cardinal Health gained 15.3% compared with the industry’s 12.5% rise between Oct 1, 2022 and Dec 31, 2022.
Merit Medical, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 at present, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 11%. MMSI’s earnings surpassed estimates in all the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 25.4%.
Merit Medical gained 24.9% compared with the industry’s 12.5% rise between Oct 1, 2022 and Dec 31, 2022.
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