As the omicron variant surges across the U.S. and beyond, cases have risen to levels that many find daunting. With holiday celebrations quickly drawing near, public health officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci have urged Americans everywhere to get vaccinated if they are not are not already, warning of a sinister winter ahead. While vaccine producers rush to tailor new vaccines to the variant, many Americans are making use of at-home Covid-19 tests. Quidel (NASDAQ:QDEL), a producer of rapid diagnostic solutions is enjoying the testing rush. Indeed, QDEL stock is surging almost as quickly as cases.
What’s Happening With QDEL Stock?
Since the new variant began to spread, the demand for at-home testing has risen greatly. Indeed, the signs in the windows of pharmacies warning customers that they do not have any testing kits in stock call to mind the same signs we saw in early 2020 telling shoppers that they had no hand sanitizer. As expected, QDEL stock has enjoyed an excellent December, rising 22% since the month began. Just today, the stock jumped by 10%, following a week of impressive gains.
It’s also worth noting that Quidel has been in the news for other reasons recently. Last week the company announced a partnership with the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL). The membership will include them providing free QuickVue at-home Covid-19 tests to multiple community organizations that partner with the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation.
Why It Matters
InvestorPlace’s Josh Enomoto recently named QDEL stock to a list of the best hedges for those concerned with risks posed to the market by the spread of the omicron variant. The progress that the stock has made in the week since then only serves to strengthen his case. At this point, it seems companies providing testing, rather than vaccines, might be a safer hedge as much uncertainty surrounds the future of vaccine stocks.
While we have seen some progress made by vaccine producers seeking to combat the new variant, specifically by Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), it’s clear that the demand for tests, particularly those that can be taken at home, isn’t going to go away any time soon. Companies that were early to testing have a clear edge heading into 2022. And the way it looks from here, QDEL stock is leading the pack. This is further supported by the progress its made over its rival Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX), a company that looked like the early testing king. Despite currently trading in the green, DGX has seen a slower trading season than QDEL. Plus, it is off to a turbulent start this week.
What It Means
Last year, many Americans sacrificed holiday celebrations with their loved ones over concern for the virus. This year, at-home testing is providing the easiest way to celebrate responsibly. Therefore, demand for the products and services provided by Quidel will only increase as the holidays draw nearer.
As long as demand is increasing, QDEL stock is likely to keep rising accordingly. While much remains uncertain as we head into a new year, at-home testing stocks remain a great hedge against the spreading variant.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.