Roth upgrades Nanosphere to buy
Roth Capital Partners has upgraded Nanosphere (NASDAQ:NSPH) to “buy” from “neutral” and raised its 12-month price target to $4.50 from $2.50. The stock closed at $3.19 on Friday.
“We expect the recent FDA clearance of the company’s BSI (bloodstream infection) gram-positive test will meaningfully accelerate placements beginning in the third quarter this year,” writes analyst Matt Dolan. “Our recent due diligence suggests the test’s advantages will improve care and reduce costs in the clinical setting.”
Although the stock has had a good run recently, “we anticipate positive metrics will sustain this trajectory in the current second half of 2012, especially considering Verigene placements will be the most relevant metric in driving the stock in the coming quarters,” he added.
Nanosphere’s BSI gram-positive test can get a result in 10-to-15 hours, compared with two-to-three days of processing for culture, Mr. Dolan said, adding that this allows the patient to get on the correct antibiotics and get there sooner.
“We believe this test represents Nanosphere’s most relevant commercial assay, with management referring to it as its killer app,” he said. In addition, “our more recent due diligence surrounding the FDA clearance of the BSI gram+ test suggests that this assay will resonate with prospective customers, as all parties involved benefit from faster throughput, quicker turnaround time, and a compelling cost-benefit argument.”