President Trump has signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, and has initiated a $2-trillion stimulus package, the largest relief bill in the history of America. And part of the package is the one-time $1,200 cash payments that Americans will receive, provided they qualify.
Needless to say, an extra $1,200 from the federal government is always welcome and it’s widely expected that such stimulus checks will start to arrive around the middle of April. The IRS and Treasury Department, by the way, said that nine out of 10 Americans may qualify for the stimulus checks, which will eventually ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Obviously, the money is required to make ends meet in such trying times. But for those who have already set up emergency funds to tackle the pandemic, the stimulus check will provide extra cash which can be used in securing their financial future by investing in stocks.
There are plenty of appealing stocks right now. But given the situation investing in biotech companies that are widely expected to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus seems judicious. Notable among such companies are Moderna, Inc. MRNA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. REGN.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (“CEPI”) has agreed to fund clinical stage biotechnology company, Moderna, for manufacturing a new vaccine. CEPI is a public-private coalition that is known for its initiatives to prevent future epidemics. CEPI selected Moderna due to its positive results from a Phase 1 clinical readout for its prophylactic vaccine.
Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel had said that “we believe our mRNA vaccine technology offers potential advantages in the speed of development and production scalability, which positions Moderna to potentially develop a vaccine against coronavirus, 2019-nCoV.”
It’s worth pointing out that unlike DNA-based treatments, Moderna focuses on developing mRNA treatments, which should help in treating the virus better. DNA-based treatments generally require the nucleus of the cell but mRNA can be found across the cell which makes it easily accessible.
Moderna’s stock is trading at around $34.84. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 6.2% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter is 9.8%. What’s more, the company has outperformed the Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry on a year-to-date basis (+78.2% vs -8.6%).
Regeneron’s blockbuster drugs REGN3048 and REGN3051 are used for treating coronavirus. Moreover, Regeneron is working on developing monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 patients. During clinical testing, the company uses genetically-engineered mice with humanized immune systems in its VelocImmune platform.
Regeneron, in itself, is doing pretty well. The company’s key drugs — Eylea and Dupixent – have been performing well. Label expansion into additional indications should further increase the commercial potential of the drugs.
Regeneron’s stock is trading at around $493.32. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings has climbed 2.2% over the past 30 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is almost 12%. To top it, the company has outpaced the Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry so far this year (+31.4% vs -8.6%).
By the way, due to the lockdown, companies that allow people to work and study remotely are poised to benefit. And one of the prominent names is Zoom Video Communications, Inc. ZM.
As coronavirus spreads at an alarming rate, Zoom has been seeing an exponential rise in demand for its services. Amid this crisis, the company made smart moves, such as removing its 40-minute calls from accounts that are free, eventually luring users to the platform. Zoom has thus secured the number one spot on Apple App Store and Android downloads.
Thanks to the lockdown, businesses and schools are now increasingly experimenting with Zoom’s video conferencing tools, which helped its daily user count more than quadruple in recent times, per JP Morgan analysts.
Zoom stock is trading at around $128.20. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has soared 55.6% over the past 30 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is 233.3% and 20%, respectively. Additionally, the company has outperformed the Internet - Software industry on a year-to-date basis (+88.4% vs -16.5%).
Meanwhile, the shutdown of gyms is proving beneficial for Peloton Interactive, Inc. PTON. The company manufactures in-house exercise equipment like treadmills and stationary bikes, which are now likely to be in demand among fitness enthusiasts. Peloton has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has advanced 15.3% over the past 60 days.
Peloton stock is trading at around $28.75. Shares of Peloton rose 5% in March and the company reported more than two million members at the end of its second fiscal quarter on Dec 31, 2019. During the said quarter, its quarterly revenues climbed 77% to $466.3 million.
Last but not the least, how about investing in a company whose sales are set to surge amid the chaos? With stay-at-home orders put in place across many states and the government urging people to maintain social distancing at least this month, sales of warehouse club Costco Wholesale COST will certainly improve. After all, a major portion of its items, including bulk food and household goods, are now sold online.
What’s more, Costco is charging a reasonable amount from its members, which is tempting more people to buy groceries and household goods. Thus, the company’s strategy to sell products at discounted prices has helped it remain on growth trajectory as cash-strapped customers continue to reckon Costco as a viable option for low-cost necessities.
Costco stock is trading at around $288.65. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has risen 2.7% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is 12.2% and 7.9%, respectively. In fact, the company has outpaced the Retail - Discount Stores over the past one-year period (+17.1% vs 0.3%).
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Click to get this free report Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN) : Free Stock Analysis Report Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) : Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) : Free Stock Analysis Report Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM) : Free Stock Analysis Report Peloton Interactive, Inc. (PTON) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research