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This maker of genetic sequencing equipment had a year of lows—and highs—thanks to COVID. Both revenue and net income were down in Q3 from the same period a year ago, yet the company’s dominant position in the fast-growing genetic sequencing market gives investors plenty of reason to be bullish. Illumina’s rapid COVID test received emergency use authorization in July, and the company believes sequencing will become an important part of tracking the virus, pointing to Australia’s first national COVID-19 tracking system—which aims to sequence the virus genomes of all positive tests across the country. On the third-quarter earnings call, Illumina CEO Francis deSouza said the company is “making progress incorporating genomics into the standard of care in noninvasive pre-natal testing, oncology therapy selection, and genetic disease diagnosis.” In September, Illumina’s stock dipped after it said it would spend $8 billion to reacquire a former spinoff, cancer blood test–maker Grail. DeSouza said he believes the unit will “catalyze a new era of early cancer detection, transforming cancer survivability and opening up the largest clinical application of genomics we’ve seen.”

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