Anyone needing evidence that money can still be made in these undeniably tough market conditions should take a look at the Genedrive (LSE: GDR) share price. In the last month, the small-cap’s valuation has rocketed over 230%.
Let’s take a look at what this under-the-radar firm does and, most importantly, question whether such a performance can be sustained.
What’s this hot stock all about?
Genedrive is a molecular diagnostics business. In its own words, the company’s platform supports “the diagnosis of infectious diseases and for use in patient stratification (genotyping), pathogen detection and other indications”. These include Hepatitis C, military biological targets and, perhaps most importantly, Covid-19.
Genedrive has been listed since 2007 and shareholders have enjoyed/endured a rollercoaster ride since. However, anyone buying at the height of panic in March 2020 will have done extremely well. Just before Boris Johnson announced the first UK lockdown, the Genedrive share price languished at just under 9p. On Friday, the very same stock closed at almost 62p.
Why is the Genedrive share price flying?
On 29 November, Genedrive revealed that its COV19-ID test had been supplied to “a range of potential commercial partners” for review and evaluation. This news was compounded by last week’s announcement that the company had now received the CE mark as intended. In other words, COV19-ID conforms with European health, safety, and environmental protection standards.
I won’t go into the science too much here, save to say that Genedrive’s test (performed via a nasal swab) can deliver positive results in 7.5 minutes. Negative results arrive within 17 minutes. As CEO David Budd commented, this will “allow immediacy and convenience in molecular testing, rather than waiting many hours or days for results from a central laboratory.”
On top of this, Genedrive’s test “offers several orders of magnitude improvement in sensitivity” compared to the usual antigen lateral flow devices.
Rapid results should mean a reduction in transmission rates and, ultimately, a quicker return to normality. That’s potentially great news for, well, everyone but particularly for any operator in the travel, leisure and hospitality space.
More to come?
It’s clear that the Covid-19 tale has several more chapters to run. That could provide a sustained boost to the Genedrive share price. This is especially if deals with partners are announced over the next few weeks and months. A market-cap of just £57m certainly suggests a lot more room for growth compared to the likes of, say, diagnostic peer Novacyt.
Even so, it’s clear only those blessed with a stoical temperament should apply. While GDR has soared in only a few weeks, it’s still way below the 52-week high of 165p. Those who picked up the stock in February or March will still be nursing heavy paper losses.
Due to a relatively small free float (the number of shares available to trade on the market) of 60%, I think this kind of volatility is set to continue. As evidence of this, the Genedrive share price dropped almost 12% on Friday.
(Very) cautious buy
Recent news from Genedrive is undoubtedly encouraging and I wouldn’t rule out further gains going forward. As such, I’d consider buying a slice of the company today. That said, I’d be sure to only use money I could afford to lose while also remembering that there are other ways to take advantage of the market’s Covid-19 concerns.