The coronavirus has put financial markets worldwide in panic mode. All major stock indices, including the S&P 500, have been seeing a persistent decline over the past week or so. However, even during such turbulent times, a few stocks have been unaffected or are gaining due to the coronavirus.
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The best stocks to buy currently are of companies that are working to find a cure for the virus or selling products that could see increased sales due to the outbreak. Investors who have not yet found a balanced portfolio amid the outbreak can opt for such stocks. These stocks will act as a hedge against current uncertain scenarios.
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Here are the healthcare stocks that are gaining due to the coronavirus:
Moderna is a clinical stage biotechnology company that develops vaccines for infectious diseases. Following the outbreak, the company collaborated with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The company also received funding from CEPI to speed up its work on a coronavirus vaccine. Over the past five days, the stock has gained over 30%.
Vaxart is also a clinical-stage company working on the development of vaccines based on its proprietary oral vaccine platform. After the outbreak, the company started a coronavirus vaccine program. Over the past five days, the company's stock has gained over 80%.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals is a late-stage biotechnology company engaged in the development and commercialization of vaccines. It is working on a vaccine to treat the MERS strain of the coronavirus. Inovio is also working with CEPI. The stock has gained over 10% in the past seven days.
Novavax is also a late-stage biotechnology company that develops and commercializes vaccines for infectious diseases. The company has initiated a program for a coronavirus vaccine and claims to have success in the development of a vaccine for the MERS and SARS strains. The stock has gained over 40% in the past seven days.
These stocks are gaining due to a potential increase in sales because of the coronavirus:
Clorox Company is one of the best hedges against the coronavirus because it makes disinfectants. Clorox bleach is marketed as killing 99.9% of germs on contact, possibly including the human coronavirus. The company has already seen a phenomenal rise in demand for its household products. Clorox is also a Dividend Aristocrat and has boosted its dividend for 43 consecutive years. The stock has gained almost 3% in the past seven days.
Alpha Pro Tech makes the N-95 face mask. The company informed investors last week that it has earned $14.1 million from sales of its N-95 face mask since Jan. 27. Depending on the duration of the outbreak, the company should be able to improve its sales, margin and cash flows during the year. The stock has gained over 120% over the past seven days.
QIAGEN has been supplying instruments and consumables to help in the detection of the virus. It also recently announced that it is shipping its new QIAstat-Dx Respiratory Panel 2019-nCoV test kit to Chinese hospitals for evaluation. The company also plans to supply its kits to health institutions in other regions, such as Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. QIAGEN’s stock has gained over 6% in the past month.
Co-Diagnostics’ stock has gained massively this year due to its Logix Smart Coronavirus COVID-19 test. It is an easy-to-use molecular diagnostic test. The test kit has already received CE mark approval in the European Union. Co-Diagnostics’ stock has gained over 350% over the past seven days.
Why are these stocks gaining?
In addition to healthcare stocks and those that deal in wellness products, a few other unrelated stocks have been gaining due to the coronavirus. Such stocks are primarily service providers people are turning to following the outbreak.
Zoom Video Communications is an internet and software player and has been gaining recently. More people are downloading its videoconferencing software as it helps them work remotely. The company’s average daily downloads have increased by over 90% in the last month. The stock has gained over 50% in the past month or so.
Netflix is another stock that has gained in recent time. The stock seems to be gaining as fear of the outbreak is forcing more people to stay at home. The stock has gained over 10% in the past month.
Peloton Interactive deals in interactive stationary bicycles and treadmills. Analysts believe the outbreak could force many fitness enthusiasts to avoid gyms and instead chose to work out at home. For now, there is no evidence that the company is benefiting from the virus. However, if the situation gets worse, then it could force many to stay at home longer. The stock has gained over 5% in the past seven days.