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Illumina Is How You Play Biotech Without Being in Biotech

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Biotech stocks are volatile and investors have a tendency to trade the whole group together. However, there are opportunities to be found. One is Illumina (ILMN - Get Report), which is not a biotech but works with the biotech industry.

Illumina was founded in 1998 in San Diego and develops, manufactures and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function. Illumina has grown tremendously over the last few years and now employs 3,100+ people worldwide. Last year the company generated $1.42 billion in revenue.

One of the things I like about the Illumina story is it is not dependent on a particular drug or customer.

Looking at Ilumina's stock chart, you can see that after a selloff from March to April, Illumina has come roaring back and is now up 50% for the year. The stock has been trading well since the end of April when it reported a solid quarter, beating earnings estimates by $0.02 and exceeding revenue estimates with management guiding up both earnings and revenue estimates. First-quarter revenue increased an impressive 27% on a year-over-year basis.

ILMN Chart
ILMN
data by YCharts

Illumina's products are selling well in the marketplace and its HiSeq X Ten low-cost ($1,000), ultra-high-throughput sequencer product is gaining traction even faster than anticipated. The product just starting shipping in Q1 of this year and already received orders for 104 units during the quarter. Illumina's large portfolio of sequencers and market penetration has created a barrier to entry for new competitors.

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