Why are ASX COVID test shares climbing today?

COVID-19 tests are in focus again today.

| More on:
A man wearing a mask punches the air with joy after getting a negative COVID result on a rapid antigen test.

Image source: Getty Images

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Key points

  • COVID-19 tests are in focus in Australia today
  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announces the government will make them tax deductible
  • ASX COVID-19 test shares enjoy time in the green on Monday

ASX COVID-19 test shares are in the green today amid a federal government announcement. This morning Treasurer Josh Frydenberg outlined the government's plan to make the tests tax deductible.

ASX-listed companies that manufacture COVID-19 tests include Atomo Diagnostics Ltd (ASX: AT1), Lumos Diagnostics Holdings Ltd (ASX: LDX) and AnteoTech Ltd (ASX: ADO.

Atomo's share price is currently climbing 1.19% today, while Lumos is in the green 2.49 and Anteotech is jumping 6.98%.

Let's take a look at the news that could be giving these shares a bump today.

Tax deductible COVID-19 tests

COVID-19 tests for people who need them for work will be tax deductible from this year, the Financial Review reported.

Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) and Healius Ltd (ASX: HLS) process COVID-19 tests in Australia. Sonic has conducted millions of PCR tests, while Healius is processing 40,000 COVID-19 tests every day.

Treasurer Frydenberg will discuss the tax deduction policy in a speech to the Australian Industry Group today. In a copy of the speech, reported by the SBS, he states:

Today, I'm announcing that we will ensure that COVID-19 testing expenses are tax deductible for testing taken to attend a place of work, giving businesses and individuals more clarity and assurance.

We will also ensure that fringe benefits tax will not be incurred by employers where COVID-19 tests are provided to employees for this purpose.

The Lumos share price surged 5% last week on news the Victorian Government intends to support local manufacturing of its RAT tests.

Atomo secured up to 20 million COVID-19 rapid antigen tests for Australia and New Zealand in 2022, my Foolish colleague Aaron reported in January.

Anteotech is still awaiting Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval for use of its COVID-19 rapid antigen test in Australia.

Ellume is another Australian company working on TGA approval to sell its RATs in Australia. However, it is not listed on the ASX.

Share price recap

Some COVID-19 test shares have benefitted from the pandemic, making major gains in the past 52 weeks.

In the past year, Anteotech has rocketed 27%, while Sonic has surged 9% and Healius has gained 8%.

However, that's not true across the board. The Atomo share price has slumped 27% while the Lumos share price is down 17%.

In contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has returned more than 3.4% in the past year.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sonic Healthcare Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

More on Coronavirus News

Man with his hand on his face looking at a falling share price chart on a tablet.
Share Market News

ASX 200 stocks dive 2.4% in worst trading day since Ukraine crisis hit

It's not a good start to the week for the market.

Read more »

A woman looks nervous and uncertain holding a hand to her chin while looking at a paper cut out of a plane that she's holding in her other hand. representing the falling Air New Zealand share price today
Travel Shares

Borders just reopened so why is the Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) share price falling today?

Experts believe it may take several years for tourism levels to rebound to pre-pandemic numbers.

Read more »

A worker in hi vis gear holds his hand up saying no.
Coronavirus News

Own BHP (ASX:BHP) shares? Here's how the ASX 200 miner is battling COVID

Mining unions have not generally supported mandatory vaccinations.

Read more »

Female worker sitting desk with head in hand and looking fed up
Coronavirus News

Here's what Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) boss says is 'causing some challenges' right now

The Omicron variant is spreading in Western Australia.

Read more »

a girl stands in an apple orchard holding two red apples in raised arms with a happy, celebratory look on her face with a large smile and a pretty country background to the picture.

CBA reveals the Australian economy's leading state amid COVID surge

The states and territories have all been impacted by the pandemic.

Read more »

Rapid Antigen Test taking place.
Share Market News

Why is Ellume hitting headlines today?

Brisbane-based diagnostics developer Ellume is back in the headlines.

Read more »

A woman looks quizzical as she looks at a graph of the share market.
Share Market News

Inghams (ASX:ING) share price sinks as Omicron bites

Inghams shares are down as COVID hurts its operations.

Read more »

A female scientist sits at a microscope in a Universal Biosensors laboratory smiling while her colleague checks beakers of COVID-19 samples in the background.
Healthcare Shares

Universal Biosensors (ASX:UBI) share price up on "global first" 30-second COVID-19 test

This micro-cap biotech has big news for ASX investors today.

Read more »