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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Vaxart, Zoom Video Communications, Amazon.com, Clorox and Costco Wholesale

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 25, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Vaxart Inc. VXRT, Zoom Video Communications, Inc. ZM, Amazon.com AMZN, Clorox CLX and Costco Wholesale Corp. COST.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Here Are the 5 Big Winners from the Coronavirus Pandemic

It’s been three months since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, which has been wreaking havoc, infecting thousands of people, disrupting supply chains and restraining movement between countries. Governments worldwide have struggled to control this health crisis, and resorted to complete lockdowns to check the spread of the pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak has certainly weighed on corporate profits and hampered economic growth, with many expecting contractions in the first two quarters this year. The past few weeks, in particular, have been brutal for markets. While some businesses are anticipated to take significant time to recover, some have been irrevocably damaged.

Meanwhile, there are businesses that prospered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here’re five that stand to benefit from the pandemic.

First on our list is Vaxart Inc., which interestingly is known for utilizing tablets instead of injections to deliver vaccines. On Mar 18, the company finalized a deal with Emergent BioSolutions to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine, which helped analysts conclude that it has significant prospects.

Vaxart’s VAAST technology platform and Emergent BioSolutions’ molecule-to-market contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services will be used to develop the vaccine. Vaxart’s technology, particularly, is helpful as it uses adenovirus type 5 (Ad5), which ultimately boosts immunity.

H.C. Wainwright analyst Vernon Bernardino pointed out that such vaccines will be crucial in the fight against coronavirus, and that Vaxart will benefit from its growing demand in the near term. Wainwright currently has a $3 price target on the stock, which means the stock can surge more than 60% from its current level. By the way, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Vaxart’s current-year earnings soared 86.4% over the past 60 days. The company, currently, carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Since many businesses have asked their staff to work from home in a bid to minimize the chance of infection, Zoom Video Communications, Inc.’s demand has improved considerably. This is because Zoom provides cloud-based platform for video conferencing that helps workers stay connected from any part of the world.

Many schools across the country have also shut down, and educators are mostly relying on online platforms to engage students. Virtual learning has picked up, and Zoom is providing the necessary platform for that to happen.

Notably, Zoom has been one of the few stocks that saw its shares hit record highs last week, while the broader market tanked. What’s more, the company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is a whopping 233.3% and 17.1%, respectively.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings climbed 51.9% over the past 60 days. Currently, Zoom has a Zacks Rank #2.

And with thousands of people staying at home and reluctant to go to stores in fear of contracting the disease, e-commerce giant Amazon.com has been enjoying robust sales. Amazon’s massive supply chain is supplying necessary household items, and in the process is generating promising returns for its shareholders. Needless to say, that Amazon has retail chains across the globe.

Individually, Amazon has been doing pretty good! It is benefiting from its Prime program, delivery and logistic system in the e-commerce space. Further, its dominant position in cloud market remains a positive. The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next quarter and current year is a solid 20.9% and 20%, respectively.

Despite the current market carnage, Amazon has been able to hold on to its gains. Amazon has outperformed the Internet - Commerce industry so far this year (+3.0% vs -9.7%).

Meanwhile, with the COVID-19 spreading primarily through contact, the best way to prevent it is by cleaning and sanitizing things regularly. Hence, the clean-up of everything from office premises to cruise ships are on in order to rid them of the deadly virus. And this, in turn, has created demand for Clorox’sproducts. After all, Clorox is known for producing bleaching products for cleaning and disinfecting germs.

Clorox, by the way, has already reported a strong second-quarter fiscal 2020 results, wherein both earnings and sales beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. It has witnessed gross margin expansion of 40 bps in second-quarter fiscal 2020, driven by price increases and cost savings.

Clorox, currently, sports a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 2.1% over the past 60 days. Shares of Clorox, in fact, have outpaced the Soap and Cleaning Materials industry on a year-to-date basis (+10.8% vs -15.9%).

It’s worth pointing out that Coronavirus-led panic has compelled consumers in large numbers to go to grocery stores and big warehouses to stock up on staple items, and other household goods. Provisions for necessary items are the need of the hour provided there is a prolonged lockdown! This kind of a situation bodes well for operator of membership warehouses, Costco Wholesale Corp.

To top it, Costco is providing necessary goods at discounted prices, which is benefiting cash-strapped customers. The company’s strategy to provide lost-cost vital products in such a crunch situation shall certainly help its shares gain traction in the near future. Costco’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is 7.9% and 6.5%, respectively. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 1.3% over the past 60 days. Costco, currently, has a Zacks Rank #2.

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Click to get this free report Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) : Free Stock Analysis Report The Clorox Company (CLX) : Free Stock Analysis Report VAXART, INC. (VXRT) : Free Stock Analysis Report Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here.