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Why the ALS Ltd share price is up again today

digital stock graph against backdrop of world map and covid bugs
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The ALS Ltd (ASX: ALQ) share price is on a tear today. Again.

In today’s trading, the share price is up 5.4%, bringing the company’s market capitalisation to $3.87 billion.

Today’s gains follow a steady string of successes after the ALS share price hit a low of $4.64 on 24 March. At the current share price of $8.03, that represents a 73.1% gain in just over 4 months.

It’s worth noting that despite that meteoric rise, the share is still down 12.5% year-to-date. That’s due to the share price falling nearly 49% from 2 January until hitting its trough on 24 March.

I bring this up as an important risk management reminder. Remember, if a share falls by 50%, it needs to rise by 100% to recover its original price.

What does ALS do?

ALS — which stands for Australian Laboratory Services — has a long history in Australia, starting out as a chemical company way back in 1863.

These days, it has a global reach focusing on testing, inspection and certification in sectors that include pharmaceuticals, agriculture and construction. It’s also listed on the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO).

Why today’s big rise in the ALS share price?

ALS investors likely have Morgan Stanley to thank for today’s 5.4% gain.

The broker resumed its overweight weighting, setting a price target of $8.80. That represents another 9.6% gain from the current price.

But beyond the welcome nod from the big-name broker, ALS looks to have made a smart move by refocusing a new effort on COVID-19 safety.

According to the company’s website, its ‘Safe by Choice’ platform allows customers to ‘reopen and continue to operate your business safely’. The new services ALS is providing include COVID-19 surface sampling and testing as well as facility hot spot mapping.

With the lethal virus sadly unlikely to fade away anytime soon, this pivot should continue to support the ALS share price growth in the months to come. This is certainly a share I recommend looking into.

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Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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