The threat of the coronavirus continues with the number of people infected, and sadly the number of deaths, continuing to rise each day.
Thankfully there has only been a limited number of confirmed cases outside of China and very few in Australia. However, that’s not to say that some businesses won’t see a rise in demand of products with people stocking up on items.
Here are three reliable blue chips to own due to the coronavirus that hopefully wouldn’t see much of a decline of earnings, if any, because of the coronavirus:
Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN)
A few weeks ago we saw that surgical face masks had sold out in some US cities despite there only being a small number of cases there.
What does Ansell sell? It sells gloves, goggles, protective suits, ventilation suits, face masks and so on.
As you can see, many of Ansell’s products are probably going to be in high demand over the next few weeks, even if they’re not actually utilised. When it comes to protection against a dangerous infection, people will want to go for trusted brands like Ansell.
Ansell’s products are sold all around the world. The company was aiming for organic growth of 3% to 5% with EPS growth of 5% to 10% per year. If Ansell can indeed achieve those numbers then it would be a solid compound returns performer when you add that growth to the dividend returns that it’s paying.
The recent acquisition could also prove to be a sound longer-term move.
Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API)
Pharmacies sell many of the products that are in higher demand because of the coronavirus. Items like vitamins, cold & flu medicine, masks, gloves etc. are products that could fly off the shelves, if they aren’t already in high demand.
Priceline and Soul Pattinson are the two consumer-facing pharmacy chains that API owns and runs.
It will be interesting to see how much this affects API’s operations and how much increased demand there is.
As a bonus, it has a grossed-up dividend yield of 8.6%.
Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)
One of the most common sights during an emergency is empty supermarket shelves. We’re certainly not at that stage yet in Australia, but there are a few product lines that are selling quickly in stores, particularly hand sanitizer if my two local Woolworths are anything to go by.
People need to keep eating so Woolworths would be likely to see increased demand in the shorter-term if it seemed that people needed to stock up before certain products were sold out.
Each blue chip has pretty defensive earnings in normal times. They could see a rise in demand over the next month for a short-term boost.
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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Ansell Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.