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5 Top Low-Beta Stocks Surged in March Defying Coronavirus

Nalak Das
·4 min read
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Wall Street continues to grapple with severe volatility, which has been plaguing it for the last six weeks. The stocks have been on a roller- coaster ride, wherein it logged a gain of 4-5% one day only to decline 4-5% the very next day. Meanwhile, the reason of this extreme volatility, the coronavirus pandemic, is showing no signs of dissipating any time soon.

The global financial markets are currently witnessing one of the worst periods since the Great Depression due to the coronavirus-induced crisis that has severely dented investor confidence. Unavailability of proper medical treatment to contain the pandemic resulted in panic selling in stock markets across the globe, which, in turn, wiped out trillions of dollars.

Volatility Might Persist in Near Future

The stock-market volatility is likely to continue in the days to come. This is evident from the reading for COBE VIX — popularly known as the best fear-gauge of Wall Street. In a nutshell, the VIX indicates market's expectation of a 30-day forward-looking volatility based on the near-term S&P 500 index options (both puts and calls).

Notably, the VIX is currently at 65.54, which is 22.4% lower than its all-time high of 84.26 recorded on Mar 19. However, at its current level, the fear gauge is significantly above its historic average range of 20 to 30. This clearly indicates that the market will remain volatile and stocks will swing widely in either direction, over the next 30 days.

Our Top Picks

Meanwhile, not all stocks are bearing the brunt of the market bloodbath. A closer look at the market paints a different picture. A few low-beta (beta value less than 1 but greater than zero) stocks have actually recorded stellar gains since these are less volatile than the broader market.

We have narrowed down our search to five low-beta stocks that have popped in the past four weeks when coronavirus-induced concerns rattled global financial markets. Each of our pick carries either a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The chart below shows the price performance of our five picks in the past four weeks.


Electromed Inc. ELMD develops, manufactures, markets, and sells airway-clearance therapy and related products that apply high frequency chest wall oscillation therapy in pulmonary care for patients of all ages in the United States and internationally. This Zacks Rank #1 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 82.6% for the current fiscal year (ending June 2020). The stock has a beta of 0.47 and has advanced 16.9% in the past four weeks.

Vista Outdoor Inc. VSTO designs, manufactures, and markets consumer products for outdoor sports and recreation markets in the United States and internationally. It operates through Outdoor Products and Shooting Sports segments. The Zacks #1 Ranked company has a projected earnings growth rate of 88.3% for the ongoing fiscal year (ending March 2021). The stock has a beta of 0.46 and has risen 9% in the past four weeks.

eHealth Inc. EHTH provides private health insurance exchange services to individuals, families, and small businesses in the United States and China. It operates through two segments, Medicare and Individual, Family and Small Business. This Zacks Rank #1 company's expected earnings growth rate is negative for the current year. However, it has an estimated 37.1% growth rate for the next year. The stock has a beta of 0.78 and has gained 14.7% in the past four weeks.

WD-40 Company WDFC develops and sells maintenance products, and homecare and cleaning products in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific. This Zacks Rank #2 company has an anticipated earnings growth rate of 18.7% for the current year (ending August 2020). The stock has a beta of 0.34 and has rallied 14.4% in the past four weeks.

QIAGEN N.V. QGEN is one of the world’s leading providers of technologies and products for the separation, purification and handling of nucleic acids DNA/RNA. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a projected earnings growth rate of 6.3% for 2020. The stock has a beta of 0.72 and has appreciated 12.7% in the past four weeks.

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

Last year, it generated $24 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $77.6 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.

See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>


Click to get this free report

QIAGEN N.V. (QGEN) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Electromed, Inc. (ELMD) : Free Stock Analysis Report

eHealth, Inc. (EHTH) : Free Stock Analysis Report

WD-40 Company (WDFC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Vista Outdoor Inc. (VSTO) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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