Exact Sciences Corp. stock jumped almost 16 percent in early trading Tuesday and closed up nearly 10 percent after the Madison cancer test company swept past analysts’ expectations in its third-quarter results, released late Monday.

CEO Kevin Conroy also disclosed, in a conference call with analysts, that Exact recently made an acquisition; hired 100 salespeople over the past six months; and plans to break ground on its second Cologuard processing lab before the end of 2017.

Conroy gave analysts an ambitious projection on the prospects for Cologuard, Exact’s DNA-based stool test for colorectal cancer.

“We believe that Cologuard can achieve at least 40 percent market share of the 80 million eligible Americans over time,” he said.

Conroy said Exact bought Sampleminded, a Salt Lake City information technology company, during the third quarter. “Sampleminded has been an Exact Sciences partner for several years and was instrumental in developing and supporting our lab information system,” Conroy said.

Neither terms of the transaction nor its closing date were released. Chief financial officer Jeffrey Elliott said the terms were not material, meaning they did not significantly impact Exact’s bottom line.

Sampleminded, founded in 2008, developed software for use in clinical trials and for research and diagnostics, according to a news release the company issued in March. Its website apparently is no longer active and efforts to reach the company were unsuccessful.

Exact spokesman J.P. Fielder said Sampleminded has more than 20 employees who are now Exact Sciences employees, and are based in Salt Lake City. “We will continue to grow and expand that team,” Fielder said.

Fielder would not say if this is Exact’s first acquisition, saying, “We don’t typically comment on acquisitions that we’ve made.”

Conroy said Exact plans to buy land “near our headquarters in Madison” during the fourth quarter. The company currently leases office space at the former Spectrum Brands headquarters, 601 Rayovac Drive. Exact is expected to announce soon that it will build a second laboratory at the site.

Exact is expanding its current processing lab in the town of Madison to raise capacity from the current 1 million samples a year to 2.5 million samples a year. Conroy told analysts the new lab will be able to process 2 million test results a year to start, “with the ability to expand that location further on a long-term basis,” he said.

Exact has more than 1,000 employees, with more than 750 of them in the Madison area.

Exact Sciences stock hit a new high of $57.95 before closing at $54.99, up $4.89, or 9.8 percent, from Monday’s close.

Trading was heavy, with 6.4 million shares traded, up from the average daily volume of 1.4 million shares.


Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.