After bottoming-out in late March, the stock market has rebounded strongly in the last two months. An uptick in economic activities, as lockdown measures are starting to ease, is mainly driving the U.S. stock market.
However, the heightening number of coronavirus cases has triggered fears of a second wave of COVID-19. A surge in coronavirus infections across several states of the United States, along with new COVID-19 positive cases found in Beijing, has only highlighted the risks of reopening economic activities.
With no vaccine discovered yet, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the duration and severity of the virus. Further spike in coronavirus cases could offset the growing hopes for a quick economic recovery, and hence, stock market might crash. Amid such concerns, stock investments would be a risky bet.
However, there are several companies which have been resilient to the pandemic or have even benefited from the crisis. Amid the coronavirus-led uncertainties in the market, select stocks from sectors such as FMCG, Pharma, Telecom, and Technology would continue to perform well.
Choosing the Stocks
It is difficult to pick the right stocks from a wide range of available investment opportunities.
This is where the Zacks Stock Screener comes in handy. With the help of this screener, we have filtered five stocks that are incredible for investment right now. These stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Also, the stocks have a Growth Score of A or B. Per Zacks’ proprietary methodology, stocks with such favorable combinations offer solid investment opportunities.
5 Prominent Picks
You may invest in Zoom Video Communications ZM, which is riding on the coronavirus-induced work-from-home and online-learning trend. Moreover, the company’s efforts to eliminate the security and privacy loopholes like “zoombombing” are expected to help maintain its existing enterprise user base as well as attract more customers.
Zoom Video currently flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1 and has a Growth Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its fiscal 2021 earnings is pegged at $1.18 per share, having moved up 174% in the past 30 days. Shares of the company have soared 272% year to date.
Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Price and Consensus
Zoom Video Communications, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Quote
We also suggest investing in Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. SFM, which operates in a highly fragmented grocery store industry. The company’ first-quarter 2020 results benefited from the spike in demand during the latter part of the quarter as Americans stockpiled essential items in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The company’s focus on product innovation, emphasis on e-commerce, expansion of private label assortment and enhancement of technology bode well. It has launched Sprouts.com website and mobile app to help customers enjoy hassle-free shopping.
Sprouts Farmers currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has a Growth Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year earnings has been revised upward by 5 cents to $1.67 over the last 30 days. The stock has displayed a bullish run on the bourses gaining 20%, year to date.
Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. Price and Consensus
Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. Quote
Investors can count on Fortinet, Inc. FTNT too, which provides network security appliances and Unified Threat Management (UTM) network security solutions to enterprises, service providers and government entities worldwide.
The company is benefiting from its dominance in the UTM space, which is one of the fastest-evolving segments in the network security space. Moreover, this Zacks Rank #1 company is gaining from the heightening cyber-attack risks that are spurring demand for its FortiMail platform.
Fortinet has a Growth Score of B. The consensus mark for its 2020 earnings moved up 4 cents to $2.81 per share in the past 30 days. Notably, the stock has appreciated 28.4% so far in the year.
Fortinet, Inc. Price and Consensus
Fortinet, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Fortinet, Inc. Quote
Novavax, Inc. NVAX, a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in the research, development and commercialization of proprietary products focused on women's health and infectious diseases, is also worth betting on.
The company recently received a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for the manufacturing of NVX CoV2373, its potential coronavirus vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 in April. In May, this Zacks #2 Ranked stock, with a Growth Score of B, initiated a phase I/II clinical study on NVX-CoV2373. Preliminary immunogenicity and safety data from the study is expected in July.
Additionally, the acquisition of Praha Vaccines in Czech Republic in May added a biologics manufacturing facility, which will likely provide an annual capacity of more than 1 billion doses of NVX-CoV2373 starting 2021.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its 2020 bottom line is pegged at a loss of 57 cents per share, having narrowed from a loss of $1.84 in the past 30 days. Shares of the company have returned a whopping 1650%, year to date.
Novavax, Inc. Price and Consensus
Novavax, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Novavax, Inc. Quote
Investors can also invest in Ericsson ERIC, which is a leading provider of communication networks, telecom services and support solutions. The company is benefiting from increasing 5G deployments.
The company has significantly increased its presence in China, which is unarguably the largest 5G market in the world. Ericsson has secured 5G contracts from the three major operators in the communist nation and expects to ride on this momentum to fend off stiff competition from rivals.
China's three largest telecom operators — China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom — have awarded 5G contracts to Ericsson, thereby strengthening its overall 5G business in the country. Notably, Ericsson has 93 commercial 5G agreements with operators (of which 51 are publicly stated) and 40 live 5G networks in four continents.
Ericsson currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 and has a Growth Score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its ongoing-year earnings has been revised upward by a penny in the last 30 days to 52 cents. Shares of the company have rallied 4.7% year to date.
Ericsson Price and Consensus
Ericsson price-consensus-chart | Ericsson Quote
Today's Best Stocks from Zacks
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