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3 ASX 200 pandemic winners and 3 losers

The changes in our behaviour during the COVID-19 lockdown has created pandemic winners and losers up and down the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO).

Some of these are obvious. Companies like Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) and Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) are undoubtedly going to see a fall in full-year earnings. 

However, some are less obvious. Some companies have profited greatly during the pandemic while others may be in for a structural change to their earnings.

3 pandemic winners

ASX gold mining companies have benefited greatly from the rise in the gold price. The Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) share price has been one of the great winners. Its share price is up 43.7% year to date (YTD). In fact, it has risen by over 60% since its low point on 16 March. Evolution has benefitted from both the rising gold price and the low Australian dollar. It is regularly one of the top 3 traded gold shares by volume on the ASX. 

JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) is another pandemic winner. The company has seen a rise in earnings due to the short-term rush for work-from-home accessories. Laptops, printers, monitors, keyboards. All items that are bringing trade to JB Hi-Fi’s network of stores. The company reported a 6.9% growth in YTD Q3 sales for JB Hi-Fi Australia. This is up from 4.1% during the comparable period last year.

Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) is the Australian manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and surgical masks. The Ansell share price has risen by 3.5% YTD. It hit a low point on March 23 and has risen by 41% since then. Ansell is one of the great pandemic winners as it is a company built for crises such as this.

3 pandemic losers

The Bapcor Ltd (ASX: BAP) share price is down by 20% YTD. Given the restrictions in place during the national lockdowns, this is to be expected. However, Bapcor may also suffer a structural reduction in earnings if work-from-home becomes widespread after the resumption of normal work.

The Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) share price has been devastated by the pandemic. It is currently down by 59% YTD. The company has been hit not only by the collapse in demand but also by the glut in supply from the Saudi-Russian oil price feud. The company is currently performing well in a fight for survival. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if it emerges as the same company it was in January.

Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) has seen its average daily traffic (ADT) percentage drop by 44% across all Transurban assets in the final week of April compared to the same period last year. If work from home becomes permanent, the company is likely to see a structural reduction in ADT% which may call into question other expansion plans. 

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Motley Fool contributor Daryl Mather has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Bapcor. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Transurban Group. 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.

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