Check up: Coronavirus has been good and bad for the bio-stocks
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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Here’s our fortnightly wrap of all the news driving ASX health stocks.
Of the ASX’s 137-odd small cap health stocks, 82 saw their share prices fall, just 40 improved and 15 were flat.
The broader market is down 2.4 per cent and the Small Ordinaries is down 2.7 per cent, dragged down by fears of the impact of China’s coronavirus on everything from iron ore to trade agreements.
The stocks moving upwards in the last fortnight were led by — no surprises here — a hand sanitiser seller.
New Zealand company Zoono (ASX:ZNO) makes anti-microbial sprays designed to kill germs and treat acne.
It has seen sales surge as the coronavirus epidemic, and the fear of it, has spread, but its stock began moving even before the first case of coronavirus was reported in China in December.
The stock has moved 950 per cent since mid-October, when it began running.
Zoono said last week it had been “inundated” with queries from the public and shareholders as to just how effective its hand sanitiser was at combating the spread of the new virus.
Its Z71 Microbe Shield Surface Sanitiser was tested in 2014 against bovine coronavirus and had a 99.99 per cent efficacy in five minutes, but it has not been tested more recently.
It is currently undergoing testing in Germany against the Chinese coronavirus, with results yet to be released.
Zoono says product orders worth more than $NZ1m ($966,555) were received in the last two weeks of January, predominately from China and Hong Kong.
Online consumer sales saw a record of $49,000 in one day, and the company is being approached by major companies for new distribution arrangements.
Holista Colltech (ASX:HCT) was also up 19 per cent over the last fortnight thanks to its own hand sanitiser news: it’s sold out in Malaysia.
It is not a pure-play antimicrobial company however as hand sanitiser, which it distributes in that country, is only one product it sells. Its portfolio includes diet noodles and low-calorie sugar.
Uscom’s (ASX:UCM) December quarterly report has been well received by the market, as the non-invasive cardiovascular and pulmonary medical device seller said half-year receipts were up 21 per cent to $1.11m.
While second quarter receipts dove 42 per cent, the company said it had cause for optimism as this was due to delays in regulatory approvals in China and Europe.
Chinese approved the USCOM 1A cardiovascular monitor in January, which saw immediate sales worth $400,000 come in on the first week of that month.
Uscom says European CE mark approvals may be attained in the coming two quarters.
Patient engagement software firm Oneview (ASX:ONE) said this week it was cutting costs after the stock had fallen 73 per cent in the last 12 months, with investors clearly happy the company is doing something to reverse the collapse despite also delivering significantly lower revenue guidance.
It’s firing 40 staff, bringing total full-time employees to 68, and reducing staffing costs by 47 per cent.
This follows the announcement on November 11, 2019 that commercial negotiations with an aged care operator to develop a care management solution had reached an impasse, which also prevented the company from rolling the product out at a US aged care home.
Revenue in 2019 is now expected to be 13 per cent lower at €7.1m ($11.6m) thanks to not getting the aged care product off the ground.
But recurring revenue in 2019 is expected to be up 32 per cent at €4.5m and in line with previous guidance.
It is now considering what to do with the aged care management product it built.