some are equating the current, relatively benign flu with the viral pandemic of 2009 and thinking that masks are in similar short supply and that apt is ready to jump into the breach. truth is that medical facilities and your local walmart are already well stocked with enough masks to meet foreseeable need based on current spread and fatality count of this flu.
possible things that can happen to apt in the short-term:
-- more people decide to jump on the vaccine/mask flu bandwagon simply because the media is giving coverage to each and every sneeze, and stocks like nvax, sva, and apt will have at least a short-term run fueled by folks who think they've figured out an angle. the reality is this type of mediocre but above average flu season will do virtually nothing to apt earnings. nevertheless, this season is starting to be hyped by those who wish to profit, and they do so using percentage comparisons with less year's below average flu season because they cannot make their case using historic data as was the case in 2009.
-- the flu gets considerably worse, which means it mutates and spreads to other countries in a big way and there are legitimate concerns voiced by, yes, politicians, in which case one can expect mask sales to soar and apt to be a big beneficiary even though our ceo believes in humanitarian pricing. in reality there are many more suppliers of the requisite masks than in 2009 but that will not become apparent until apt reports somewhat subdued earnings six months out. in the meantime the stock should do very well if you buy into this scenario.
-- reports start surfacing that the flu appears to be short-term, only serious to individuals who have compromised systems, that everyone should continue to practice common sense and caution, but there is no need to avoid usual activities. in this scenario, apt is unlikely to move up anymore on the basis of flu, and all eyes will turn to the housing market and apt's very low margin roofing products business which had gotten off to a good start a few years ago but which will be facing new competition this round as the housing market improves.
As for myself, I recently added to my current (modest) holding in APT anticipating one of the first two scenarios.
I would add to your comment re: "...that medical facilities and your local walmart are already well stocked with enough masks to meet foreseeable need..." Agree with this totally, however, bottom line, if more masks are used, even if not to a degree of "shortage", those same facilities will eventually order more from their distributors who in turn would turn to APT (and others, yes) for additional orders, etc. So, I don't think the potential financial impact to APT is not relevant. Likely to be "subdued" (as you put it) though, I agree. Having said that, I'm short term playing with this recent buy hoping for another overreaction.
Well, it may not make sense, but this appears similar to the 2009-2010 spike to $7. That was based on the avarian flu virus (if I recall correctly). That was shortlived as the financial impact to APT was overanticipated (by the traders/shareholders, that is). Having said that, let's not kid ourselves, any epidemic, esp in the U.S. has potential (and surprise) upside to APT sales. So, maybe we will see a similar (illogical?) spike this time too.