Monday, October 15, 2007

Sequenom (NASDAQ:SQNM): Target upped to $15 at OpCo

- Oppenheimer is out with a nice call on Sequenom (NASDAQ:SQNM) after they were able to meet with a portion of the co's management last week. According to the firm the company is making strong progress towards its Down's Syndrome diagnostic prenatal test. They believe this is a potentially ground-breaking test that could revolutionize testing within the prenatal medical arena. Additionally, Sensigen continues to work towards a more specific HPV test. Finally, the company's new nanopore sequencing technology should add another stream of revenue in the future.

Firm views the development in Down's as very positive for investors, as previously the test had simply been a concept. The company will now find additional SNPs to utilize in order to create a test that works in everyone. OpCo expects the company may release interim data at the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine annual meeting in Dallas at the end of January.

Based on these developments the firm feels they need to adjust their price target and the multiple they use to derive it. Firm believes the Down's test will produce most of Sequenom's revenue in the near future, and now that they believe the chance of a successful test being developed has increased, they are increasing their multiple. OpCo now increases their price target to $15 from $10.

In seeking comparable companies, the firm believes Hemosense (HEM) and Genomic Health (GHDX) are similar, with the ability to change how certain areas of medicine are practiced.

Notablecalls: This is the kind of call that will generate enough interest to push SQNM toward the $9.50-$10 level in the s-t.

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