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Thursday, December 29, 2005


QDEL Short Opportunity -- Don't Fall for the Hype

"Quidel Corporation reported today that it has obtained FDA clearance for its new and improved claims for the QuickVue® Influenza A+B test which is a 10-minute diagnostic test for influenza. Among new claims added to the package insert is 94% sensitivity for detecting Influenza A when using nasal swab specimens. The package insert for the test is being updated to include clinical study results for nasal swab, nasopharyngeal swab and nasal wash in addition to analytical study results for the detection of cultured avian influenza viruses. The QuickVue Influenza A+B test has been shown to detect cultured avian influenza viruses, including avian Influenza A subtype H5N1 virus; however, as with other rapid tests for influenza, the ability of the QuickVue Influenza A+B test to detect influenza A in patients infected with H5N1 has not been established."

Basically, this news means that QDEL can update their package insert on their flu test product. On this rather insignificant news, the stock has run up from under 9.5 to over 12. Part of the reason for the big runup today is misleading reporting, with inaccurate headlines like "FDA gives Quidel's flu-test kit the green light."

Technically, QDEL broke its steep uptrend on its weekly chart earlier this month. It had ridden the bird flu hype from the 3's in April to almost 16 last month, even though they only sell a flu test, not a cure. A MACD sell signal on the weekly chart triggered, indicating the run was over and the stock should return to much lower levels. Today's misguided rally retested that uptrend line, and provides a good opportunity to sell for those still holding the stock, or to short for those inclined to take that kind of risk. A short anywhere near 12 or above should be well rewarded in coming weeks. The stock is likely to sell off several points from this rally once the hype subsides.

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