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Exact Sciences reports fourth-quarter loss but beats Wall Street predictions

February 22, 2017

Exact Sciences Corp. stock hit its highest point in a year during heavy trading on Tuesday after the Madison cancer-screening device company reported a loss for the last three months of 2016 that was smaller than analysts expected while the company’s revenue more than doubled.

Exact said it had a $37.2 million net loss, or 34 cents a share, on $35.2 million in revenue for the fourth quarter compared with a net loss of $40 million, or 41 cents a share, on $14.4 million in revenue for the 2015 fourth quarter.

Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had projected a loss of 39 cents a share and revenue of $35 million in the most recent quarter.

For the full year, Exact Sciences reported a loss of $167.2 million, or $1.63 a share, on $99.4 million in revenue compared with a $157.8 million net loss, or $1.71 a share, on $39.4 million in revenue.

The company said about 244,000 Cologuard tests, screening for colorectal cancer, were completed and returned for processing in 2016. That is more than twice as many as the 104,000 completed tests in 2015.

“We intend to build on last year’s success by contracting with additional payers, increasing awareness about Cologuard’s inclusion in health care quality measures, and making it easier for physicians to order our test,” Exact Sciences CEO Kevin Conroy said in a statement.

“Based on the financial strength of Exact Sciences and the power of the Cologuard technology platform, we will continue investing prudently to support our growth and bring new cancer diagnostics to patients,” Conroy added.

The company said it expects at least 415,000 completed Cologuard tests in 2017 with revenue of $170 million to $180 million.

Investors greeted the news by boosting Exact Sciences’ stock price to $23.68 a share during the day’s trading — the highest it’s been in a year.

The stock, which had dipped as low as $4.67 a share during the past 52 weeks and has been slowly recovering, made a huge jump Tuesday, closing at $22.41, up $2.50 a share, or 12.6 percent.

More than 14.7 million shares traded hands, up from the average daily volume of 2.3 million trades.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report