"CVS Caremark Corp. and Rite Aid Corp. have placed additional orders for Roche Holding AG’s drug Tamiflu, while 3M Co. and Alpha Pro Tech Ltd. have boosted production of face masks to meet additional demand.
The companies stand to benefit from increased sales of items that help prevent and treat what may become a global outbreak as swine flu cases in the U.S. doubled to 40 and Mexico’s toll of flu-related deaths reached as many as 149. The World Health Organization today raised its pandemic alert level because of the growing threat.
“If we continue to see a steady stream of news and this becomes a fixation issue with the public, this could have a substantial effect on companies,” Peter Sorrentino, a senior fund manager at Cincinnati-based Huntington Asset Advisors Inc., said today in a telephone interview. “These are very low-cost, high-margin items.” Huntington overseas about $13.3 billion in assets."