Fly Watch: Exact Sciences Predicted To Jump If Task Force Update Favorable

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The US Preventive Services Task Force, or USPSTF, is expected to publish its revised guidelines for colorectal cancer, or CRC, screening in the third quarter of 2015. The guidelines should include an assessment of Exact Sciences' (EXAS) Cologuard, an "easy to use, noninvasive colon cancer screening test."

ANALYST TAKE: The USPSTF guidelines were noted as "the last binary event for Cologuard" by Jefferies and "the major overhang" for Exact Sciences by Mizuho Securities. Jefferies analyst Brandon Couillard and his team, which rate Exact Sciences a Buy with a $33 price target, see "significant upside" from a favorable outcome and said their thesis was boosted by confident comments from a "former affiliate of the USPSTF's review board." Mizuho analysts Peter Lawson and Eric Criscuolo, who rate Exact Sciences a Buy with a $35 price target, said they believe Cologuard will receive an "A" or "B" rating from the USPSTF, triggering further adoption by mandating coverage of Cologuard by private insurance. Baird defended Exact Sciences after the stock dropped 5.5% on Thursday, June 25, saying Exact Sciences' investor relations day was "bullish" in tone as the company provided a "deep dive" update on its Cologuard launch. Baird maintained its Outperform rating and $44 price target on the company.

PRICE ACTION: Over the past week, shares of Exact Sciences are up more than 5% despite Thursday's 5.5% pullback. Over the last month, shares are up about 12% and over the last three months they are higher by almost 40%.

Reporting by Eric Buscemi.

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