Some ASX COVID-19 shares are directly involved in the fight against the pandemic and are still generating high levels of growth.
No-one can know how long the world is going to be fighting this pandemic, but it has been going on for over a year already. The COVID-19 variants could make it even harder to stop the spread completely.
These two ASX COVID-19 shares could be worth owning:
Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN)
Ansell is one of the world leaders in manufacturing protective equipment, particularly gloves. It provides plenty of other items like protective suits.
As you might expect, there has been a large increase of demand for Ansell’s products during this difficult period with the global pandemic. The growth continued into the first half of FY21, with its healthcare division generating organic growth of 37.3% with strong volume growth across all strategic business units.
Industrial organic growth was still good at 7%, with strong growth with its chemical protective clothing and multi-purpose gloves offsetting weaker demand from impact gloves.
The company has invested for more growth in the coming years by starting five new production lines and expect another eight lines to go live during the second half to help meet the demand. By FY22 to FY23 Ansell expects to have more than doubled its in-house capacity of single use gloves and suits.
The ASX COVID-19 share says it expects the coronavirus will continue to impact the world for some time and once the pandemic is under control, elevated demand for its products will likely persist for multiple reasons. Enhanced safety practices at plants and hospitals, better protection awareness in emerging markets, more research and testing worldwide or the potential need for annual COVID-19 vaccinations are reasons that Ansell could keep seeing elevated demand.
In the first half of FY21 it generated 65.5% growth of earnings per share (EPS) to 82.9 cents.
Sonic Healthcare Ltd (ASX: SHL)
Sonic is one of the main businesses involved in doing high levels of COVID-19 testing using PCR tests.
The northern hemisphere has seen high levels of COVID-19 cases, which has contributed to high levels of organic growth for Sonic in countries like the USA, Germany, the UK, Switzerland and Belgium. The Australia division has also seen high levels of organic growth because there has still been a lot of testing, even if there hasn’t been too much of an outbreak.
Sonic has been able to utilise its existing infrastructure and staff to carry out all of the COVID-19 tests, which is why the business has seen strong profit margin growth. FY21 half-year sales went up 33% whilst net profit after tax (NPAT) rose 166% to $678 million.
The ASX COVID-19 share expects the next 12 months will continue to see good profit generation. If the pandemic subsides then its pre-COVID base business can make a recovery. If there’s more pandemic waves then the testing will likely increase.
Management also believe there’s potential growing demand for COVID-19 serology testing to see if a person is immune or not to COVID-19.
Sonic’s balance sheet is “very strong” and can support acquisitions as well as other significant opportunities in Australia, the UK, the USA and Canada.
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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. and Sonic Healthcare Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.