NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- JMP Securities said on Thursday that Intrexon's(XON) - Get Report revenue could increase if the government decides to grant emergency authorization for its genetically modified mosquitoes in combating the Zika virus.
A bipartisan coalition of Florida officials wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking permission for state and local governments to use the mosquitoes.
U.S. officials recently determined that local mosquitoes were transmitting Zika in an area of South Florida.
Intrexon's Oxitec unit, which the company purchased in 2015 for $160 million, manufactures genetically engineered "friendly" mosquitoes to target and reduce populations carrying deadly viruses like Zika.
A trial was cleared last month to test the synthetic biology products company's genetically modified mosquitoes in Key Haven, FL, Reuters noted. The test was meant to measure whether the mosquitoes reduced levels of the aedes aegypti mosquito population, which is known to carry Zika and other viruses.
Both of these developments "cite the successful field trials" and the FDA's recent finding that the mosquitoes don't cause harm to the environment, JMP said.
"We view this as a positive for Intrexon as we believe an EUA for the Friendly Aedes increases the potential for nearer-term government orders," the firm wrote in an analyst note.
JMP reiterated an "overweight" rating and $42 price target on Blacksburg, VA-based Intrexon.
Trials in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands have shown that the genetically modified mosquitoes can reduce localized aedes aegypti populations by more than 90%, Reuters added.
Shares of Intrexon were higher in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
The team rates Intrexon as a Sell with a ratings score of D. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which it believes should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks it covers. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: