Good Lab Report On Bio Reference

The $32 billion medical-testing business is hot--dominated by such giants as Corning's MedPath, National Health Laboratories, and SmithKline Beecham. So why are some money managers looking to buy into small regional labs? "Regional labs are where the national labs are looking for buyouts to sustain their fast growth," says one Boston fund manager. He has been acquiring shares of Bio-Reference Laboratories, probably the largest independent clinical lab serving New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Its stock, trading on the NASDAQ small-cap market at 53/4, is up from 31/2 in early June.

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