Ekf Diagnostics Investors - EKF

Ekf Diagnostics Investors - EKF

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Stock Name Stock Symbol Market Stock Type Stock ISIN Stock Description
Ekf Diagnostics Holdings Plc EKF London Ordinary Share GB0031509804 ORD 1P
  Price Change Price Change % Stock Price Last Trade
0.60 0.76% 79.40 16:35:01
Open Price Low Price High Price Close Price Previous Close
79.40 78.60 80.80 79.40 78.80
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pldazzle: wan ... many thanks, but this letter is on official EKF letterhead and is signed by Salim Hamir, company secretary. I am confident that it's authentic: the language is formal, and in all other respects, the letter reiterates the terms of the 14 December RNS, including e.g. details of the Lock-up Period. I am well aware of boiler room scams (my nephew is a QC who prosecutes them!) and do not take cold phone calls. Nor would I be interested in selling my EKF or Trellus shares anyway. The letter ends: If you have any questions, please contact us through our investor relations: Tel. +44 (0)20 7933 8780. Email: investors@ekfdiagnostics.com. The phone number I don't recognise, but the email address is as per EKF's website hTTps://www.ekfdiagnostics.com/contact.html. I will email them to find out what's going on.
wan: As indicated by the CEO, Trellus will not be the last value creation to come out of the EKF/Mount Sinai partnership. And although EKF will also be a cash dividend payer, the spinout opportunities (and ultimately the best use of EKF 'growing' cash pile) will return greater value to investors. Even like those of us who follow EKF closely, we only have the track record to go by, and in this regard Renalytix delivered circa 23p to patient EKF investors and then went onto deliver a lot more, including Verici (and I suspect there is more to come from both of these). I firmly believe Trellus will follow a similar path in terms of delivery to EKF investors. And I am sure most investors are fully behind the management with regard to this value creation policy. What we don't know is what's coming next in terms of potential spinouts, but only the patient investors will find out and ultimately realize the benefit. In the meantime, the core business continues to advance and grow, as do their relationships, which are now extending further.
wan: The General Meeting has just concluded, with the resolution duly passed. There was only a handful of us, aside from Paul (Wallbrook) and EKF management, attending the meeting. The pre-submitted questions and live questions were answered by Julian, and provided listeners with some further insight regarding Trellus (but obviously nothing that broke regulations etc.). There were some 'off-topic' questions, which Julian generously allowed, depending on the content of the question. Overall, a very useful meeting, including Julian confirming a very positive change with regard to the level of interest from investment funds, ultimately resulting in an investor base containing an increase in high-profile investors. Confirmation that EKF is a dividend payer, and also that the Mount Sinai partnership is very likely to yield further IPO's beyond Trellus, not ten a penny, but providing future benefits to investors, similar to Renalytix and Verici. Others who attended and asked questions might want to contribute further?
wan: ESG investing is becoming increasingly popular, with investors pouring money into ESG funds. So, I was interested to note in the IC that EKF feature in the Top ESG Fund Managers' Favourite UK Shares as of 02/12/2020 FUND BEST IDEAS: UK SUSTAINABLE - hTTps://www.investorschronicle.co.uk/tips-ideas/2020/12/02/esg-fund-managers-favourite-uk-shares/ Only one fund is registered (over half of the list has one ESG fund invested) and is based on a funds top 5 holdings (source: Morningstar), but given the increasing interest in the ESG sector, that leaves room for further interest/investment - The Big Theme December 3 2020 The best regional ESG funds By Dave Baxter The explosion of the ESG industry means investors have more fund choices Regional equity fund options are increasing You must first decide what type of ESG approach you want to take Funds that invest according to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles have proved their worth, with a commendable performance during the sell-off earlier this year. They are also becoming increasingly popular with investors and appear to have entered the mainstream. Full story - hTTps://www.investorschronicle.co.uk/funds-etfs/2020/12/03/the-best-regional-esg-funds/
wan: The following FT article provides reason to think we are indeed on the right track regarding the wider healthcare/diagnostic picture, overall, as providing a very supportive, if not compelling backdrop - Opinion The Long View Bullish mood across markets leaves investors with a dilemma Healthcare could be one option in search for sectors with capacity to expand during 2020s MICHAEL MACKENZIE But investors should think hard about what kind of companies and sectors have capacity for expanding during the 2020s. UBS Global Wealth Management advocates looking at fintech and greentech with the global rollout of 5G technology boosting the growth of robotics, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, data analytics and cyber security. It also points to healthcare. UBS estimates that the global population aged above 65 will expand “60 per cent to 1bn by 2030”. This will require more spending on healthcare and related technology. “Unlike tech, the healthcare sector rally is being driven by profits, not by a valuation uplift,” said Dhaval Joshi, chief strategist at BCA Research. “The long-term valuation stars for healthcare are looking attractive.” Among the 20 main Euro Stoxx 600 groups, healthcare tops the charts with a 15.6 per cent share. In the US, the sector tops the scale among US small-caps in the Russell 2000 index at almost one-fifth, while the S&P 500 weighting has been stuck around 14 per cent in recent years. If healthcare expands further from here, then it might in itself help share markets beat the current lowball estimates of future returns. Full story - hTTps://www.ft.com/content/8c8cae12-f92b-4689-92d2-637567df52f9 And thus the 'long term' approach/rationale with EKF could provide investors with very healthy returns (doing well while doing good). With 'other' healthcare spin-offs, via the Mount Sinai partnership, adding further to the rationale (especially if you kept/keep the in-specie shares!).
wan: It would appear that post the recent vaccine news, EKF's share price performance is indicating that the market remains sceptical regarding the level and duration of sample collection requirements associated to coronavirus testing. But fortunately, most investors realise that COVID-19 testing alone is not the only investment rationale. Staying with testing though, and given that the second wave of the pandemic is accelerating in many countries, along with alignment of entering the winter/flu season, the outlook for testing volumes will almost certainly result in a dramatic increase in volumes, especially as governments unleash numerous mass-population testing programmes, which will include using a wide spectrum of test types. (I won't list them all, as even the UK gov is apparently buying inferior tests, hence a rising tide is lifting all boats!). EKF now has exposure to all testing regimes, PCR testing via sample collect and antigen testing via sample collection/consumables, and antibody testing via a new exclusive/non-exclusive quantitative antibody ELISA test. Antibody testing has yet to attract strong levels of interest, but apparently it will be important in the next phase of resolving the pandemic. Interest in antibody testing looks set to change and possibly quite rapidly, as perhaps noted by Thermo Fisher recently securing a large UK vaccine contract for 'quantitative' antibody testing (which surprised me as it is described by the FDA as qualitative!) - hTTps://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2020-11-10-oxford-ramps-covid-19-testing-capability Clearly, Longhorn/EKF's current sample collection media compliments testing, as opposed to being a product uniquely critical to testing, otherwise we would have likely seen a share price with a double figure £ sign in front of it! However, the substantial orders to date demonstrate that the attributes of the PrimeStore products are important to certain tests and certain operators, but not all, or a high percentage of them (at least not yet)! As and when the emergency situation/pandemic abates, there will be a lot less choice in terms sample collection options, hence the CEO's comments on such, which implies that management also see testing enduring for longer than the market currently thinks. Such a situation might provide for a perhaps somewhat underappreciated, second strong wind to EKF's sails. Time will tell. In the meantime, I remain very interested in what can only be described as an explosion in antigen testing across the globe, but from which we are yet to see any tangible benefit. On initial digestion of Julians comment, that a bit of ATM has been sold in the US and its intended as a lower cost product in specific regions across the globe where the economics can play a key part, one might be tempted to temper one's analysis as to what degree of effect EKF might receive from ATM. However, amongst a number of other things, I remain particularly interested in how the new PrimeStore ATM product fits in with antigen testing, and not just for low-cost markets. With antigen tests being far cheaper than PCR testing, then arguably antigen testing is the best solution for low-cost markets. With other benefits such as no special equipment being required, less/no skilled operator requirements and easier distribution making antigen testing equally attractive, if not essential in specific regions across the globe, but for which still very large volumes will be required to facilitate frequent testing. Apparently PrimeStore ATM also enables extraction-less PCR testing, which of course would help in keeping costs down, but if the skill base and diagnostic infrastructure is lacking (very likely in such regions), it would not be of much benefit. So, in my view, low-cost must surely equate to lateral flow antigen testing. And I am sure none of us would complain if EKF decide to forego the usual level of margin for supplying those markets (which might actually make EKF even more attractive to certain investors). Food for thought - With developed markets also just embarking on a dramatic growth trajectory in terms of antigen testing volumes (and with PCR testing remaining an important requirement), one has to ask why, or what was it that prompted Longhorns President to suggest that their ingredients can enable certain rapid/POC tests, and why their CSO suggested that the new ATM product was surely set to be a block-buster, and which fits well with the growth trajectory in antigen testing currently underway? But with Jillian tempering things in this regard, do we tone down any expectation that ATM (at the very least) will be another MTM in terms of providing growth, or are we already seeing that tempering in the share price action? In my view, MTM has a lot more to give in terms of the current volumes and duration, with the jury currently being out regarding ATM! Further food for thought, especially given the attributes of PrimeStore MTM enabling efficient, safe testing e.g. no cold chain storage nor controlled environment/protocols, which may further focus minds and choices in the US at least, where unfortunately cases, and subsequently testing volumes are soaring - Labs face COVID-19 surges, warn of test result delays as CMS pay cuts loom PUBLISHED Nov. 13, 2020 Dive Brief: U.S. COVID-19 cases are reaching all-time highs this week and test volumes are nearing records, placing new pressures on diagnostics infrastructure, according to the American Clinical Laboratory Association. "The surge in demand for testing will mean that some members could reach or exceed their current testing capacities in the coming days," ACLA President Julie Khani laid out in a statement Thursday. "In cases where the number of specimens received exceeds an individual laboratory’s testing capacity, there could be an increase in their average time to deliver results." That warning comes a month and a half out from when CMS plans to begin reducing COVID-19 test payment to labs by 25% if they take longer than two days to return results. With the U.S. now facing a staggering acceleration of confirmed cases, those times may be poised to go back up. Increased turnaround times could spell trouble for labs if they persist. CMS announced Oct. 15 it would reduce its COVID-19 test pay by 25% in cases when a lab takes longer than two days to deliver results, effective Jan. 1. Full story - hTTps://www.medtechdive.com/news/coronavirus-labs-warn-test-result-delays-cms-pay-cuts/588989/ Reduced testing, the same level of testing, or even more testing as the virus mutates - PUBLISHED Nov. 13, 2020 Dive Brief: Quidel CEO Doug Bryant made a case to investors Thursday that an effective COVID-19 vaccine, when widely available, would not lead to reduced testing demand, arguing the need for the company's tests will persis as the coronavirus mutates. Full story - hTTps://www.medtechdive.com/news/quidel-on-defense-after-covid-19-vaccine-spurs-questions-of-reduced-testing/588974/
wan: Most analysts believe that investors may have overreacted - Promising Coronavirus Vaccine News Leads to Share-Price Slide for Bevy of Dx Companies Nov 09, 2020 | staff reporter "In terms of implications for diagnostics companies, sooner vaccine availability obviously translates into a shorter duration of testing tailwinds, and we continue to see downside risk for companies that are over-levered to COVID-19 testing," such as GenMark, Luminex, OraSure Technologies, and Quidel, Tycho Peterson, an analyst at JP Morgan, said in a research note. Other analysts believe that investors may have overreacted. Brian Weinstein, an analyst at William Blair, said in a research note on Monday that "there is likely to be an overreaction to the downside on these stocks today as investors take the news as being an instant panacea and one that eliminates the need for any COVID-19 testing." Although the prospect of a vaccine is "unequivocally positive … we still believe there is a lot of testing that will need to be done in the future," he added. Piper Sandler analyst Steven Mah said in a research note that he believes the sell-off is an overreaction and "presents a buying opportunity for highly differentiated testing companies," such as Quidel, Fulgent Genetics, Fluidigm, Luminex, and Meridian Bioscience. Mah said that the investment bank expects that large-scale population testing, contact tracing, and effective quarantining policies will accelerate and "be needed for the next few years to safely return to normal even with a highly effective vaccine." He noted that many of the companies he listed "already have long-term COVID-19 testing contracts which underscore the utility of COVID-19 testing to healthcare providers." Peterson said that for diversified companies such as Hologic, whose share price was down almost 9 percent to $68.35 at the close of the market on Monday, "positive vaccine updates should bode well for the base business recovery … offsetting a potential impact on testing tailwinds." Fulgent Genetics Chairman and CEO Ming Hsieh said during a conference call to discuss the company's Q3 financial results on Monday that he welcomes the news associated with the development of a vaccine. Vaccines are adding additional requirements for antibody testing, he said, "creating a new opportunity for Fulgent Genetics in this space. I do not believe that COVID-19 will go away easily." Full story - hTTps://www.360dx.com/infectious-disease/promising-coronavirus-vaccine-news-leads-share-price-slide-bevy-dx-companies#.X6otJ2j7Q2w
wan: Unfortunately the dynamics of the pandemic have obviously changed, so one has to ask has this also influenced where and particularly when new rapid tests are deployed? I think it has! By my estimates the UK government has purchased circa 10m of Abbotts PANBIO™ COVID-19 Ag RAPID TEST DEVICE that I highlighted in post 758. That's quite a lot more, in terms of units, than some of the other tests that have been ordered (at a price of around £4 per unit, see further below). hTTps://bidstats.uk/tenders/2020/W42/736886815 But overall, the range and availability of tests are expanding rapidly, and other new tests, including rapid test (preferably domestically manufactured), and the required ramp in manufacturing capacity are going to be required beyond the current lockdown and 'first wave' of mass UK testing! I also highlighted in post 758 and 759 that low cost settings and low cost markets can be one of the same in terms of a cheap point of care device. EKF have already stated that the ATM product aimed at low cost markets expected Q4, and obviously we are in Q4. But as I mention above, and as evidenced here in the UK, the dynamics have changed with cheap lateral flow tests also being deployed (and indeed required) in developed markets! Back to low-cost setting/markets. The following was what originally caught my attention in terms of being particularly interested in low cost tests and in particular Abbotts PANBIO test, and why it's possible for investors to feel somewhat better from benefitting from the pandemic (hopefully, one way or another, that will include investors in EKF). The initial roll-out of the tests were scheduled for October. It's a very worthy read for all investors - Global partnership to make available 120 million affordable, quality COVID-19 rapid tests for low- and middle-income countries 28 September 2020 hTTps://www.who.int/news/item/28-09-2020-global-partnership-to-make-available-120-million-affordable-quality-covid-19-rapid-tests-for-low--and-middle-income-countries I think the reason Abbotts PANBIO test has been somewhat off the radar, is that it was developed/manufactured by their German subsidiary - Abbott Rapid Diagnostics Jena GmbH (which might have originally been part of Alere). As up until very recently it had not made Abbotts main news, and Abbott's main site only listed one antigen test, and that wasn't PANBIO! After completion of the development stage, the site oversees the transfer to mass production; the products are marketed through the global sales network of the Abbott group. hTTps://www.infectognostics.de/en/partners/partner-overview/details/news/abbott-rapid-diagnostics-jena-gmbh.html Obviously, we don't yet know where the new ATM product will be deployed (apart from low-cost markets), but the dynamics are rapidly changing, and I stand by my previous view that ATM potentially has wide applicability across a range of antigen tests, and potentially specific utility in enabling antigen testing (for which interest in and global deployment is exploding). And to repeat an important point (none of us, to my knowledge, are experts!) - Please conduct your own research when making investment decisions, as the originator, or the threads contributors, could be either wrong or inaccurate.
wan: Readers will already appreciate the dividend that's locked in for December, but there is potentially a lot more than just this cash dividend and future cash dividends. EKF's investment in Trellus Health also has potential to reward patient investors with a dividend in specie in early 2021. So, no doubt a question of what Trellus Health might be worth is probably already featuring in some investors minds, but ultimately this will be determined by market soundings and an initial public offering - hTTps://www.ekfdiagnostics.com/strategic-investment.html The following article adds further to some of my previous posts on the subject of digital health, and indicates a very strong level of investor interest in the sector, which implies there is a very exciting commercial opportunity for Trellus Health - Digital health funding this year already at record high $9.4B, Rock Health says PUBLISHED Oct. 8, 2020 Dive Brief: This year has already shattered digital health funding records, with $9.4 billion raised so far through the third quarter, according to a new report from Rock Health. That's already surpassed the previous record for most dollars raised in a year: $8.2 billion in 2018. The average deal size in 2020 has been $30.2 million, also a record — and about 1.5 times larger than the average of $19.7 million last year, as the pandemic drives sustained consumer interest in digital health and investors funnel more dollars into the sector. Megadeals have skyrocketed, with 24 digital health companies raising deals of $100 million or more through the third quarter, mostly concentrated in telehealth, R&D services and fitness and wellness. In that category, Zwift had the largest funding round with $450 million raised in a Series C. Dive Insight: As it becomes more clear that new realities brought on by the pandemic won't be short-lived, investors are pouring money into digital health — one of the few sectors that's actually benefited from COVID-19. In the third quarter, U.S.-based startups raised $4 billion, and each prior quarter saw at least $2.4 billion raised. Rock Health said the industry is "just on the cusp" of the momentum from unprecedented demand among consumers. "As the pandemic continues to unfold, we are eager to see the industry come together to cement advancements already made this year, and continue on this trajectory," the report says. The analysis jibes with others on digital health funding and speakers at CB Insights' conference last month. Analysts there noted particular interest in mental health platforms as people have reporting rising anxiety and depression amid the pandemic. Full story - hTTps://www.medtechdive.com/news/digital-health-funding-this-year-already-at-record-high-94b-rock-health/586680/
wan: Like most investors I am very much looking forward to the Interim Results, update and the Investor Presentation on Monday, including Hastings additional coverage. And may I say, absolutely full marks to EKF for making the live presentation and questions available to 'all' investors. As important as it is, investors should also realise that it's not all about PrimeStore MTM. In this regard and as background only, in the last couple of days other companies in the sector have started to indicate/confirm that recovery in their core businesses (e.g. routine testing) has been much stronger than that anticipated only a few months ago, with some also indicating that COVID-19 testing revenues and subsequently "meaningful revenue stream" will extend well into 2021 even if the pandemic abates! And subsequently upgraded their guidance's accordingly. There are also some suggestions that COVID-testing may be with us for years. On top of those (unfortunate) opportunities, are some reports from the same players that there will be further opportunity from better equipping the world to deal with future outbreaks, which is something I have touched on previously. And in this regard 'one' of the attributes of PrimeStore MTM (and possibly ATM) is that it has a shelf life of 2 years at ambient temperatures i.e. no cold chain required, which may also assist certain continents/countries with their preparedness efforts. Telehealth has apparently seen a massive increase in both adoption and interest during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, EKF's investment and involvement in Trellus Health’s digital health platform looks set to benefit. The digital/telehealth opportunity is very large and looks set for exponential growth, which the following excellent article outlines - 10th September 2020 With telehealth here to stay, healthcare looks to sustain it through patient engagement. By Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor Telehealth adoption has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with good reason: Patients are hesitant to venture into brick-and-mortar care settings, and yet they have health needs that must still be addressed. This poses a challenge for the healthcare industry, as providers not only look to implement new remote care technologies, but to sustain these models over the long term. Telehealth usage may decline somewhat post-pandemic, but it will remain higher than it was, and has established itself as a care setting in its own right. Philosophically, there's a lot that can be borrowed from population health models, which consider social determinants and matching patient need with access. Luckily for the industry, telehealth offers the ability to scale. New buildings and an expanded physical footprint aren't necessary, just the ability to connect the right people to the right services. The pandemic has provided a kind of proof-of-concept for telehealth and virtual care, and for long-term success, there needs to be a recognition among hospitals that these models can provide important venues for care within the overall continuum. "This put a magnifying glass on a lot of things we already knew," said Cohen. "We haven't created a new need, we just illustrated more clearly the needs we're all aware of: more care outside of traditional brick-and-mortar; making care more convenient; addressing health inequities related to access; and the availability of technology as a social determinant of health. "The benefit telehealth provides has always been accepted. The premise was there but the adoption wasn't. Now we've proven the benefit. We can't expect the heights in utilization to stay where they are, but they'll be much higher than they were prior. I expect about 25% growth over the next few years, year over year." Full story - hTTps://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/telehealth-here-stay-healthcare-looks-sustain-it-through-patient-engagement
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