Exact Sciences Stock Surges 9.5% After UnitedHealth Says It Will Cover Test

By Emma CourtMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Exact Sciences Corp. stock surged 9.5% in premarket trade after UnitedHealth Group Inc. said it plans to cover the company's colon cancer test starting on July 1. Exact Sciences Corp. was targeted by short-seller Citron Research earlier this month, and one of the short-seller's allegations was that UnitedHealth Group wouldn't ever cover the test. UnitedHealth will cover the Cologuard test on an interval of once every three years, adding about 30 million lives for the test, "another major win for EXAS, a coverage decision that comes in nearly a year before we expected," said Canaccord Genuity analyst Mark Massaro, who maintained a buy rating and raised his price target to $40 from $38. The decision adds UnitedHealth Group to a list of health insurers covering Cologuard including Aetna , Humana , Cigna and more, Massaro said. Exact Sciences shares have skyrocketed 51.7% over the last three months, compared with a 2.1% rise in the S&P 500 .

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