Here’s why the Sonic Healthcare share price (ASX:SHL) is up 9% in December

A Sonic Healthcare medical researcher wearing a white coat sits at her desk in a laboratory conducting a COVID-19 test

The Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) share price is having a bright December, capping off a bumper year.

Shares in the medical diagnostic company are swapping hands at $46.49 at the time of writing, up 8.88% for the month.

Let’s take a look at what might be driving this recent investor confidence in Sonic Healthcare.

A merry December for Sonic Healthcare

The Sonic Healthcare share price has been climbing steadily despite no price-sensitive announcements from the company this month.

It did deliver some positive news on 17 December, though. Sonic Healthcare announced it has acquired ProPath, an anatomical pathology company based in Dallas, Texas in the United States.

ProPath will bring additional annual revenue of about $110 million to Sonic Healthcare, along with 50 pathologist staff. The takeover was part of Sonic’s wider plan to combine anatomical pathology and clinical laboratory testing in the US.

Sonic Healthcare’s soaring share price has coincided with a rise in demand for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations in December.

Sonic Healthcare is Australia’s largest private pathology operator with global operations all over the world, including Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Belgium, New Zealand, and the US.

The company tests thousands of people each day for COVID-19 and is also involved in the Australian vaccination program.

Demand for COVID-19 testing for travel has also been on the rise this month. Sonic offers a COVID-19 PCR test for international travel at a cost of $145 per test per person.

Sonic Healthcare is likely on investors’ minds this month due to surging COVID-19 cases and increased demand for testing.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced that the minimum interval between COVID-19 double vaccination and booster shots will be reduced to 4 months from 4 January.

A national cabinet agreement to shift the focus to Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) and redefine the term ‘close contact’ could impact PCR testing demand.

Sonic Healthcare share price recap

The Sonic Healthcare share price has soared 44% in the past 12 months and has climbed 1.24% in the past week.

In contrast, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has returned nearly 14% in the past year.

The company has a market capitalisation of more than $22 billion based on the current share price.

The post Here’s why the Sonic Healthcare share price (ASX:SHL) is up 9% in December appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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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.

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