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Illumina (NAS: ILMN)

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Member Rating


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Stock Price At Recommendation


Illumina Profile

Star Rating



San Diego, Calif.



Market Cap

$3.3 billion

Industry Peers

Life Technologies (NAS: LIFE) (NAS: GNOM) Sequenom (NAS: SQNM)

Sources: S&P Capital IQ, Yahoo! Finance, and Motley Fool CAPS.

This Week's Pitch:

I'm not sure if Illumina, Inc is more fairly valued, undervalued or overvalued since the 31% haircut it took on Friday (10/7/11) after guiding down. Of the three it's very unlikely Mr. Market will think they are "farily valued". I don't give Mr. Market any credit in this volatility to know what that even means. A company guiding down at the wrong time in this market can definitely undershoot. Investors are trigger happy, especially on investments that previously had been enjoying a steady gain that rapidly eroded. Guiding down may result in a haircut on guidance and then another haircut on the reduced earnings report (even though they guided). Sometimes it would be best for a company to just wait for earnings and take one beating instead of two, but that would leave them open to claims they misguided investors.

I noticed Illumina's pludge when I saw a Pacific Biosciences of California [ (NAS: PACB) ] erasing their two day gains. I didn't have room on my pick list to activate them a few days ago when they seemed to be bottom bouncing. Both make genetic sequencers, but Illumina is far more established and appeared pricey at 4.5x book in this cycle of the economy. Illumina relies on government spending to supplement hospitals, research facilities, colleges, etc, to update their technology. The government spending is now questionable and company's are holding purchases until the situation becomes clearer.

In some cases purchases will just be deferred, in some cases they will be made and in some cases they may not occur for a long time. This means Illumina, Inc needs a "cushion of value" that holds them together even if things get as nasty as Mr. Market decided things just became. Overall, they are no worse than they were Thursday. Banking on government discretionary spending right now if "Foolish".

Illumina sports margins of 12 profit and 25% operating and has about 2X cash to debt. The 21% short sellers should be bailing meaning buying back their shares. Those in at the top can afford to. Illumina has $128 Million YoY growth meaning they have enjoyed some growth even during this troubled period. While from my limited research Pacific Biosciences may have a more fully featured device, Illumia has the market share already. In the medical industry people buy what they know and trust. Illumina also has consumables that go with their products.

Overall, I'm willing to make a play that Illumina, Inc has some margin for the current economic hiccup and deferred sales will materialize. Normally I like to see a 2-3 day cooling off period after such a large sell-off and confirmation that other holders don't "sleep on it", lose sleep and decide to join the stampede to the door. In the long run, I see this as a good opportunity and I think that long term Illumia has a bright future.

Target: In this type of sell-off with this type of Market?? Short term may go down a few more percent, may go down again if Congress carries a big cutting ax, OR could stabilize. Long term, a slow climb up over the next year, I'll have to play this one over time. Don't fall in love with your stocks and don't get greedy!

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At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors. Dan Dzombak did not have a position in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Pitches must be compelling, made in the past 30 days, and be at least 400 words. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Illumina and Pacific Biosciences of California. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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