What makes a "blue chip" company? The well-established and financially-sound companies in the stock market that are the leaders, the advocates and representatives of an entire industry. Their attributes are that they are safe, stable, profitable, and long-lasting companies and this is why they are considered as relatively safe, low volatility investments.
Due to their historical posting of steady earnings results year after year, blue chip companies are generally considered to be safer investments because of their ability to generate profits even during an economic downturn.
But this was before COVID-19, which caused some of the "safest" stocks on the market to trade at massive discounts. I believe, however, that some of these companies are in a prime position to not just survive, but bounce back better thane ever once this crisis is behind us.
Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) shares are cheap for good reason, as the things that made its business model so successful are what made it impossible to protect the company from the pandemic. The stock is trading 32% below its 52-week highs and the next several quarters will be incredibly rocky due to plunging revenues, unpredictable earnings, and so much uncertainty. But Disney will survive and it still has Bob Iger to count on as its executive chairman.
The legendary House of Mouse ensured $7 billion of senior debt to smooth over daily cash flow damages as it is losing $30 million per day. And there still could be even lower buy-in price points as its theme parks and cruises are on lockdown and production around the world is halted. But investors know that Disney will reward them, and the company should be able to hit the ground running as soon as it's allowed to lace up those running shoes again. But until then, a 30% discount on this top-shelf stock is surely a rare scenario that can't help but feel like a good deal.
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) also added some debt cash to its balance sheet last month. But unlike Disney, Coca-Cola continues to generate substantial revenues even during these dark times as a consumer staple.
Coca-Cola has also differentiated itself from Disney in its unwavering commitment to strong dividend payments as it has boosted its annual payouts without fail in each of the last 57 years. But even if we consider the worst scenario since this is a unique situation the world has never found itself in, Coke's board of directors could free up another $6.9 billions of annual cash flows if they break the trend and pause their dividend policy. But that's highly unlikely to happen, and this 20% discount is a unique opportunity to entitle yourself to Coke's 3.4% effective dividend yield. Just like Disney, Coca-Cola is sure to land on its feet when the economy and living in general restart.
Auto factories in the U.S. won't be opening any time soon. Like its peers, General Motors (NYSE: GM) shut down its plants in mid-March. And no one knows when will those factories reopen as the situation is being evaluated week to week. Along with negotiating with UAW, it is also in discussion with Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE: FCAU) working on a plan to restart production while protecting workers. It may be months before things go back to normal. GM already survived a worker strike last year, and one that was the longest in 50 years. GM is been relatively silent, yet, it has assured its investors that it's in better financial shape its rivals, at least for now. The company that once was the world's largest motor-vehicle manufacturers has disclosed that it has drawn down its credit lines but has not suspended its dividend (unlike Ford). Is it a "fake it until you make it" strategy or confidence in the balance sheet? I believe it's the latter.
COVID-19 Has Redefined Blue Chips
A blue-chip company is considered to be a leading company in its sector as its final products or service is dominant in the market. Such a company is seen as relatively impervious to economic downturns, but there is no company that was unaffected by this unprecedented health crisis that has put half of the world's population in lockdown.
Even Big Tech such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) suffered immense supply chain disruptions when China was on lockdown, not to mention the effect on revenue due to store closures. Going forward, the new heroes will be the companies that will be able to survive this pause and quickly resume their operations once things restart. And if the companies above have anything in common, it is the reputation of withstanding the test of time.
Other Opportunities Outside Of The Blue Chips
Aside from the blue chips, I'm also bullish on renewable energy. Oil companies are collapsing but the future of solar is bright. Though many solar companies are struggling at the moment, use of solar power is still expanding.
The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently achieved a record in solar efficiency, reaching 39.2% efficiency for solar cells under unconcentrated solar conditions and as much as 47.1% using concentrated light.
As far as specific companies, SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR), a designer and manufacturer of silicon photovoltaic cells, recently announced an expansion into New England, where it is slated to deliver approximately 11 MW of direct current solar power.
Meanwhile, JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: JKS) announced total solar module shipments for FY 2019 of 14.3 GW in March, within its guidance range and up 25.6% year-over-year.
Moreover, there are innovative companies that are combining this sophisticated technology to change even other industries and our lives for the better. One example is Franchise Holdings International's (OTC: FNHI) Worksport, which made solar technology accessible and combined it with the auto industry with its TerraVis patent. This pioneering company is soon to launch the world's first solar-powered tonneau covers, which will breathe in new life to any pickup truck.
With solar costs continuously falling, it's no longer unlikely to imagine a future where almost everything will be powered by the sun.
Of course, the damage that the COVID-19 outbreak has made to the economy has taken a toll on this industry. But over the long run, I believe that this sector should be well positioned.
This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: email@example.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you're interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Questions about this release can be sent to email@example.com
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