Panicked travelers have called off cruises and foreign flights amid COVID-19 concerns. China's Apple Inc. AAPL stores have lost traffic, and Walt Disney Co DIS has closed its Shanghai and Hong Kong parks.
Schools have closed, and employers around the world — Disney, UBS Group AG UBS, Chevron Corporation CVX — have told exposed workers to stay home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that a vaccination is still at least two months out. So if the virus continues to spread, what are people to do with all their free time? Wall Street has some ideas.
'Stay At Home' Stocks...
Teleconferencing services like Zoom Video Communications Inc ZM, have already profited from forced isolation as businesses scramble to keep up operations. The stock has surged nearly 60% over the last month.
"We believe investors are betting on paid user growth as a result of increased cloud video meeting usage, due to concerns around physically meeting due to the coronavirus," Stephens analyst Ryan MacWilliams said in an early February note.
Similarly, online education stocks have risen as well. GSX Techedu Inc GSX and TAL Education Group TAL offer K-12 programming in China.
"Currently, the spread of new coronavirus is accelerating further, and many cities in China have stopped the class and reschedule some of the classes through online platforms, which benefits the online education sector," Tigress Financial analyst Aaron Ju told Benzinga.
Streaming platforms could get some serious use in the boredom of quarantines.
Roku Inc ROKU is "a reasonably defensive investment in a world where COVID-19 spreads in the US in a more meaningful way during 2020," Needham analyst Laura Martin wrote.
"For example, if more folks in the US decide to avoid going out to dinner or the theatre or concerts, etc, during 2020 in favor of staying home, this raises the number of hours viewed and ad units available for Roku to sell above our current revenue and profit projections."
Martin also forecast momentum for Peloton Interactive Inc PTON, which may pick up clients unable to hit the gym.
"We believe certain U.S. consumers will be less comfortable over time going to their gym and more likely to order a PTON bike to stay home," she said in a note reported by Barron’s.
Whether stranded gym rats will be desperate enough to budget $2,245 for a stationary bike is yet to be seen.
Photo courtesy of Roku.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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