Summer is here, and many of us may be thinking of beaches or golf courses. But this quieter time, when everything seems to move more slowly, is actually a perfect moment to study the market and invest. Even if you're on vacation, the stock market isn't.
If you have $5,000 and are looking for long-term performance, you can start a position in the following stocks. The coronavirus pandemic weighed on them, but each is on the way up. Here's why you should catch these two consumer goods players and a pharmaceutical company right now.
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Target's (NYSE: TGT) earnings suffered during the coronavirus outbreak even as sales rose. Why? The cost of benefits to support employees during the crisis added up. And though sales of essentials jumped, sales of higher-margin apparel and accessories fell. But the bright side of all of this is Target's digital revenue soared -- so much so that the company is actually now three years ahead in digital sales volumes.
But can this last, or is this just a coronavirus-linked trend? Digital growth isn't new at Target. In fact, 2019 marked the sixth straight year of digital sales growth of more than 25%. That's why I believe much of the progress made during the outbreak will stick and we can expect digital to remain a strength for Target.
The company has surpassed analysts' earnings estimates for the past four quarters, and annual revenue has been on the rise for the past two years. Digital and Target's efforts to expand delivery and pick-up options can drive additional revenue gains. As for the shares, they lost 6.5% in the first half and are trading at a very reasonable 22 times trailing-12-month earnings, lower than peer Walmart (NYSE: WMT), which trades at 24 times earnings.
Nike (NYSE: NKE) was far from immune from the coronavirus pandemic. Temporary store closures began in China, where the outbreak started, and continued throughout the rest of the world. As a result, sales crashed 38% in the most recent quarter.
But here's another case where digital is making a difference. Nike's digital sales surged 75% in the quarter. And Nike, learning from its experiences in China, decided to use digital to keep a connection going with its customers. Back in March, the company made its Nike Training Club Premium free for U.S. users for 90 days.
As with Target, we can ask: Will digital keep growing? Yes is a logical answer, due to the fact that Nike, too, has been steadily growing its digital presence for a while. The company has focused on direct sales and building relationships with consumers through its Nike apps since launching a specific plan in 2017. Prior to the current health crisis, the plan was already bearing fruit. Quarterly earnings soared past the average analyst estimate, revenue climbed 10%, and digital commerce sales jumped 38%.
Nike shares slipped 3.2% in the first half, recouping losses from a drop of as much as 38% earlier in the year. Wall Street predicts the stock may increase about 12% from today's level within 12 months. But if I bought Nike shares today, I would hold onto them longer and benefit from the digital power in the years to come.
3. Bristol Myers Squibb
The coronavirus outbreak may have weighed on Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) shares as it weighed on the general market, but the crisis didn't have a major negative impact on the company's earnings. Bristol Myers Squibb said it actually benefited by about $500 million in the first quarter due to buying patterns related to the outbreak. So the company is in a great position to benefit from its acquisition of Celgene, which closed last fall.
Bristol Myers Squibb had five blockbuster drugs -- before it acquired Celgene. Through the deal, it now has Celgene's multiple myeloma drug Revlimid, which generated $2.9 billion in the most recent quarter, and other growing products.
Speaking of growth, a number of Bristol-Myers' drugs from before the Celgene acquisition posted double-digit sales gains in the past quarter. Anticoagulant Eliquis's sales jumped 37% to $2.6 billion, while rheumatoid arthritis treatment Orencia's sales climbed 12% and leukemia drug Sprycel's sales rose 14%.
Bristol Myers Squibb, with the addition of Celgene, has bright days ahead. In the most recent quarter, revenue soared 82% to $10.8 billion. The acquisition accounted for 71% of the quarter's growth. Bristol Myers Squibb shares slid 8.4% in the first half, and the stock, which is now trading at 2.6 times book value, has been trading this year at its lowest by that measure since 2010. Now is a good moment to buy this pharmaceutical stock at a reasonable level.
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