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Friday's Zika Reports Explained: Winners And Losers

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Friday's Zika Reports Explained: Winners And Losers

On Friday, reports were released regarding Zika's progression in Florida causing some travel and treatment stocks to move sharply.

Florida Governor's Report

Florida Governor Rick Scott announced Friday Morning that no mosquitoes had tested positive for Zika; however, four cases of the virus had been identified out of 2,329 people who have been tested in Miami Dade and Broward. Despite, the mosquito survey, Scott believes the four cases were locally acquired by mosquitoes in the area.

CDC's Report

The CDC's report confirmed Scott's belief. According to the report, each of the four recent Zika cases were likely caused by local mosquito-borne virus transmission.

The reports came a day after the FDA halted blood donation in two Florida counties over Zika concerns.

Related Link: A Timeline Of The Zika Virus Spread

Winners And Losers

As reports became available to investors, treatment companies such as Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) rose 12.28 percent in share price at its morning high, while travel companies associated with the area such as JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) traded down 3.04 percent at its morning low.

Florida Economy Has Heavy Exposure To Traveling Families

Partly due to Florida's theme parks and nice weather, a relatively high amount of travelers to Florida are families with children or families that may be expecting more children. This demographic seems to be among the most sensitive to Zika concerns, as the virus poses the greatest threat to unborn children.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE: SEAS) and Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) both have a major presence in Florida, and JetBlue plays a relatively large role in transportation of Disney and SeaWorld customers, especially from the East Coast.

29.2 percent of JetBlue's total capacity distribution was in Florida and another 30.2 percent in the Caribbean and Latin America according to JetBlue's 2015 annual report. This makes JetBlue among the highest for any major U.S. airline.

JetBlue's southern presence leaves the company with relatively high exposure to travel defects caused by Zika to about 60 percent of JetBlue's capacity utilization.

At time of writing, Cerus was up 5.81 percent on the day, trading at $7.37.

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Related Articles (JBLU + SEAS)

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