After the announcement, the benchmark bond yield Friday rose four basis points, pulling prices down. Yields on a five-year paper series jumped 11 basis points Friday to 5.27% and hardened 3 basis points to 5.93% for 10-year paper. Successful partnerships with major sports leagues and updated guidance may mean coronavirus testing is here to stay. Disney shares jumped after the company announced it’s restructuring to focus primarily on its Disney+ streaming service. The Eagles ended up getting three key players in that draft-night trade that Ravens used to select Lamar Jackson: LEE — A suspect was taken into custody following a large police response to a report of gunfire at the Lee Market Place plaza Saturday.Lee police Lt. Donald Laliberte said no one was injured in the incident at the shopping plaza, which was busy with customers who were locked down in the Market Basket grocery store and other shops. He said between one and 13 shots were fired, all in the air.Police identified the man taken into custody as Gordon Falt, 27, of Maine, but his home town was not
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Author: Saikat Das
Quidel and OPKO Health Are Scoring With Coronavirus Testing in Sports. Is the Market Missing It?
After shutting down its season on March 11, the NBA resumed games four months later, isolated in a Walt Disney World complex. After that four-month experiment in sequestering teams, coaches, and families from interaction with the public, the league has a champion — and zero positive coronavirus tests.
An accomplishment like this obviously takes a lot of coordination, a little luck, and a lot of testing. The NBA originally partnered with Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX), and later switched to OPKO Health’s (NASDAQ:OPK) BioReference Laboratories. While not every sport is taking the same approach as the NBA did with its bubble (or having the same success), testing has been a key component of bringing sports back.
Despite a fragmented diagnostics market, Quidel (NASDAQ:QDEL) and OPKO Heath are fast becoming the face of sports leagues’ testing plans for making sure professional and college athletes are able to play safely.
Image source: Getty Images.
There are more than 13 billion lab tests performed in the U.S. each year. All these tests are part of an estimated $80 billion global industry. Quidel’s $535 million in 2019 was a small slice of that larger pie, but it’s growing fast. Unlike Quidel, OPKO’s $902 million revenue in 2019 represented a third consecutive year of decline.
In May, Quidel was the first company to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a rapid 15-minute coronavirus test. Although many tests have since been introduced to the market, revenue from Quidel’s has continued to outpace estimates. Management recently raised third-quarter guidance to $475 million to $477 million, almost 19% higher than previous estimates at the midpoint. For the final quarter of the year, management estimates $800 million in revenue, blasting analyst projections for $466 million.
OPKO, on the other hand, has been very conservative with guidance. Management has promised to update full-year guidance on the company’s third quarter earnings call, due Oct. 29. Despite the conservatism, the company produced 33% year-over-year growth in the second quarter.
A part of the growth for both companies has come from sports. The two have dominated the headlines of major sports leagues’ testing partnerships. The executive chairman of OPKO’s BioReference Labs stated only last week that the company had run nearly 600,000 tests for the NBA and NFL. Although this additional testing pales in comparison to the volume of tests nationally, it could be a great indication of how testing may be the most logical path to a more recognizable future.
Some sports opted for the bubble approach, with players, coaches, and family members testing and isolating prior to entering a geographic location, then conducting routine testing and maintaining strict social distancing and masks for anyone who had to enter the bubble. Other leagues have taken a less draconian approach, testing routinely but not isolating players from society at large.
The two leagues with bubble approaches, the NBA and NHL, had zero positive tests during their experiments. Other leagues, such as Major League Baseball and the NFL, have done a good job limiting the spread but have had constant interruptions, delays, and rescheduling due to positive tests. For investors interested in the winners of all this testing, it’s informative to list the sports partnerships.
National Football League
Quidel where identified*
Major League Baseball
National Basketball Association
OPKO Health and Yale
National Hockey League
Major League Soccer
*Quest Diagnostics has announced partnerships with two smaller conferences
These partnerships are contributing to significant increases in both Quidel’s and OPKO’s estimated revenue. Predictions have nearly tripled since the beginning of the year for Quidel. Despite all of its partnerships, OPKO’s revenue estimates for the year are only up 43%.
QDEL revenue estimates for current fiscal year data by YCharts.
The future is likely filled with lots of tests, and a rising tide usually lifts all boats. With coronavirus continuing to spread through the summer and into the fall, it appears the virus is not seasonal, like the flu. One study published in China in July suggested that higher temperatures may actually increase the spread of the virus. Regardless, the demand for tests is limitless at this point, and it could prove to be that way over the long term.
Even if a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, not everyone will get it. A just-released poll showed that only 48% of Americans would be willing to get vaccinated. The pollsters have been tracking this number since March, and the latest reading was an all-time low. Another factor that will drive test volume is that no one is sure how long any post-infection immunity lasts. There have been several documented cases of people becoming infected a second time, including one case in the U.S.
Quidel recently updated guidance, announcing a goal of producing 220 million tests per year by July 2021. OPKO’s latest announcement was a partnership with New York City schools to conduct a testing program. Both of these are clear indicators that testing is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and these companies are at the forefront of that new normal. If our lives permanently changed in March 2020, investors who buy shares in OPKO Health and Quidel could be on the path to profit from a somewhat dystopian future.
Author: Jason Hawthorne
Hope fades for new stimulus package, dashing market gains, but Disney got some good news
The S&P 500 gave up most of its early-week gains at the end of the week as hopes for a major U.S. economic stimulus package before the election faded.
On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been making progress in negotiations for a bipartisan stimulus package but suggested a finalized deal is unlikely to happen prior to the November elections. House Democrats had already passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, and President Donald Trump said Thursday he would be willing to raise his stimulus package offer to above $1.8 billion.
Disney shares jumped after the company announced it’s restructuring its media and entertainment businesses to focus primarily on its Disney+ streaming service. The move comes after the global coronavirus pandemic devastated the company’s theatrical, theme park and cruise businesses this year. Earlier this month, activist investor Dan Loeb called on Disney to eliminate its $3 billion annual dividend to help fund heavier investment into streaming content.
Investors got some bad news on the COVID-19 treatment front. Eli Lilly was forced to pause testing of its monoclonal antibody coronavirus treatment because of safety concerns, and Johnson & Johnson halted its late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial because of an “adverse event” involving a study participant.
More:Stocks start month strong but Q3 earnings, stimulus talks could change things
More:Stock market’s volatile month weighed down by layoffs, no stimulus
Apple unveiled four new iPhone 12 models at a special event on Tuesday, all of which are compatible with 5G wireless networks.
Wells Fargo was the biggest loser during a lackluster week for the banks. The bank’s earnings were seen as disappointing, and the firm reported a 19% drop in net interest income — a key metric of profitability. Wells Fargo also laid off more than 100 employees who fraudulently applied for federal small business pandemic relief aid.
While most of the big banks reported earnings surprises and a lowering of loan loss provisions, investors remain skeptical. Shares of Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Citigroup are all flat to down for the week. That weak performance is still justified, according to TD Ameritrade Manager of Trader Strategy Shawn Cruz.
“I was looking for bigger signs of problems on their loan books and that didn’t show up yet,” said Cruz. “But I still think it’s out there down the road, in terms of businesses not being able to pay their loans.”
This week, investors will be watching for earnings reports from Procter & Gamble and Netflix on Tuesday, Verizon on Wednesday and AT&T on Thursday.
Investors will get key global economic updates when European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde gives a speech at the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings on Sunday and when the People’s Bank of China announces its latest interest rate decision on Tuesday.
Benzinga is a financial news and data company headquartered in Detroit.
Revisiting draft-night trade with Eagles that gave Ravens Lamar Jackson
On the surface, it appears the Ravens were the big winners of the 2018 draft-night trade with the Eagles that enabled Baltimore to move up into the first round to select quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Jackson was the MVP last season, and he’s 23-4 as a starter since taking over for former University of Delaware star Joe Flacco late in the 2018 season. Jackson set a record last season for rushing yards for a quarterback with 1,206, while throwing 36 touchdown passes against just 6 interceptions.
The Ravens are 4-1 this season, and Jackson is having another strong season, although not quite on the pace of last season. His passer rating of 100.5 is tied for 12th among starting QBs. He has thrown 9 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions.
And Jackson leads NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards with 238.
“You just gotta have your wind ready and get your running shoes on because he’s gonna make you work for it,” Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave said when asked if Jackson can tire out a defense.
Or as Ravens tight end Nick Boyle, who also played at the University of Delaware, put it: “People think they have him tackled, and he does some crazy maneuver and gets out of it. Then you see the defeat in the defenders’ face.”
But the Ravens gave up a lot to get Jackson, and one can argue that the Eagles will ultimately turn that into a better overall return.
The Ravens gave up two second-round picks, one in 2018, the other in 2019. The two teams also swapped places in the fourth round, with the Eagles going from 132 to 125.
The Eagles traded the 2018 second-round pick, No. 52 overall, and a fifth-round pick to the Colts in order to move up to No. 49. That’s where the Eagles selected tight end Dallas Goedert.
Goedert was the Eagles’ leading receiver through two games this season before fracturing his ankle and going on injured reserve. He’s expected to return at some point this season. Goedert had 58 catches for 607 yards and 5 TDs last season.
The Eagles used the fourth-round pick on cornerback Avonte Maddox, a starter opposite Darius Slay. As a rookie, Maddox played safety, nickel and on the outside at corner. Last season, he was mostly the nickel before moving outside this season.
Maddox has missed the last two games with an ankle injury, and won’t play Sunday against the Ravens.
The Eagles used the second-round pick in 2019 to draft running back Miles Sanders, who led all NFL rookies last season in yards from scrimmage with 1,327, which also set an Eagles rookie record previously held by DeSean Jackson.
This season, Sanders ranks 13th in rushing with 316 yards despite missing a game with a hamstring injury.
The Ravens took wide receiver Jaleel Scott with the fourth-round pick from the Eagles in 2018. Scott is on the Jets’ practice squad, and has just one career catch.
Of course, it’s up to the team getting the draft picks to make the most of them. And in this case, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman did, with a three-down running back in Sanders, a potential star at tight end in Goedert, who could end up forcing the Eagles to move on from Zach Ertz, and a starting cornerback in Maddox.
Is that enough to offset the Ravens getting a franchise quarterback, who has confounded defenses both with his passing and running ability?
As mentioned above, the Ravens are 23-4 with Jackson as the starter. The Eagles are 19-17-1 since the start of the 2018 season.
Then again, Jackson has never won a playoff game, losing one in both 2018 and 2019. The Eagles are 1-2 in the postseason.
The Ravens have had a great linebacking corps throughout their 25-year history, from Ray Lewis to Terrell Suggs to C.J. Mosely to current first-round pick Patrick Queen. They have shelled out millions of dollars over the years on the position.
The Eagles, meanwhile, have not put much money into the position at all. Their unit includes Nathan Gerry, Duke Riley, Alex Singleton and rookies Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley.
Taylor, the Eagles’ third-round pick last spring, hasn’t played a snap on defense, although that could change Sunday with Riley out with a rib injury.
In fact, the Eagles released L.J. Fort during the 2019 season. Fort is starting for the Ravens, who have the stingiest defense in the NFL, allowing just 15.2 points per game.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked about the different philosophies between the two teams.
“When we haven’t had good linebackers, we’ve definitely struggled to overcome that on defense,” he said. “I think you pay the player more than you pay the position, if you can afford it. So, Ray Lewis was not a hard guy to pay. We tried to pay C.J. Moseley, but someone (the Jets) paid him way more.
“So when we’ve had the opportunity to pay the linebackers, and we’ve been able to keep them, we’ve been willing to do that.”
The results speak for themselves.
The Ravens just have too many things working in their favor, beginning with the fact that they’ve won their last eight road games. So it’s not like 6,000 fans, or how many are allowed into Lincoln Financial Field, will throw them off.
In addition, the Eagles’ list of players out for the game reads like a starting lineup. They won’t have two starting offensive linemen in Lane Johnson (ankle) and Matt Pryor (COVID-19 list), veteran wide receivers DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery (foot), Maddox (ankle), and Riley (rib) at linebacker.
The offensive line will consist of center Jason Kelce, and four others who never started a regular-season game before this season. It’ll be something if quarterback Carson Wentz can make it out of the game in one piece.
Score: Ravens 26, Eagles 19.
Contact Martin Frank at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.
Suspect in custody after gunfire at Lee Market Place plaza
LEE — A suspect was taken into custody following a large police response to a report of gunfire at the Lee Market Place plaza Saturday.
Lee police Lt. Donald Laliberte said no one was injured in the incident at the shopping plaza, which was busy with customers who were locked down in the Market Basket grocery store and other shops. He said between one and 13 shots were fired, all in the air.
Police identified the man taken into custody as Gordon Falt, 27, of Maine, but his home town was not known as of early Saturday night. Falk is believed to be from the Bar Harbor area.
Laliberte said Falt was transported to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital for evaluation. He did not specify what charges Falt could face or if had been charged Saturday.
Laliberte said no injuries were reported.
Police were called for a report of shots fired at 11:40 a.m., Laliberte said. They encountered a man with a hand gun who refused to comply with commands from police. Law enforcement officers set up a perimeter, locking down all the stores in the plaza and setting up a command center in an urgent care center parking lot across the street from the plaza.
University of New Hampshire student Cole Jenkins of Dedham, Massachusetts, said he had just dropped some friends off at Market Basket and saw the police arrive so he went back and was in the Market Place plaza.
“From what I could see there was guy with a gun,” said Jenkins, who is studying homeland security at UNH. “It was pointed at himself sometimes and other times in the air. He just kept walking around his truck muttering and shooting his gun up in the air.”
During the lockdown, Strafford resident Al Leavitt was sitting in his car about 1:15 p.m. across the street waiting for his wife, Desiree, who was shopping in Market Basket.
“I’ve been siting here since before noon,” he said. “They locked her in about 12:15. I’ve been talking to her by phone. They’ve asked them all to move away from the windows. A short time later they moved them to the back of the store.”
As Leavitt spoke, more gunshots were heard. “Hopefully, the police are the ones doing the shooting,” he said. He then offered to put a reporter on the phone with his wife.
“The Market Basket people are doing a great job keeping people as informed as they can,” she said. “They’re passing out food to us right now.” She said she was ready to crawl under a store display if needed.
Nancy Cooke said she was in the Postal Center USA store hunkered down behind a display case.
Her husband, Robert, said he was in Market Basket shopping when management announced on the PA system there was an active shooting incident and they were going into lockdown.
“Some people were scared, but I feel pretty safe in the back of the store,” he said.
Julie Martin of Barrington was in a parking lot across the street from the plaza as the incident unfolded. She said her son, Michael, 16, was in Market Basket working as a bagger.
“He’s been texting me,” she said. “He knows I’m freaking out out here.”
Martin said a N.H. Fish and Game officer reported to those in the parking lot that the suspect was in custody and the matter was resolved.
“I hope they’ll let me take him home now,” Martin said about her son. “I just need to hug him. This could have gone so much worse. I was so afraid.”
Lt. Laliberte called the response a textbook one, adding he was really happy with how the incident was handled.
He said Lee police were assisted by the police departments of Barrington, Nottingham, Durham and Strafford, as well as the Strafford County’s Sheriff Department, N.H. Fish and Game, Strafford Tactical Unit and the Seacoast Emergency Response Team.
Author: Karen Dandurant