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What To Stock Up On For Coronavirus

Mar. 10, 2020 8:50 AM ETAMZN, COST, CVS, WMT38 Comments
Alon Zieve profile picture
Alon Zieve


  • CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonnier has recommended people stock up on food, medication and other necessities in preparation for coronavirus.
  • Target and Kroger have limited number of coronavirus-related items each customer can purchase.
  • I analyze how related stocks have reacted in comparison to the general market to identify stocks to buy. AMZN and CVS stand out.

On a day when the Dow Jones slid more than 2,000 points, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the M.D., Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, came out with recommendations that only added to the fear. Ignoring the pun in the title of this article, her advice was that people in risk groups stock up on food and medication. I look at what to stock up on for coronavirus.

What to stock up on for Coronavirus

Credit: Simon Klinger

How to prepare for the Coronavirus

Dr Messonnier's advice answered what items to stock up on for coronavirus. As well as foodstuffs, she included routine medication for blood pressure and diabetes as well as over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies to treat fever and other symptoms. Her words were well heeded, with Kroger (KR) and Target (TGT) announcing limitations on coronavirus-related items each customer can buy. These announcements reflect real consumer and inventory pressures that these stores have felt. If there has been any doubt as to whether their first-quarter sales would be impacted, this gives a clear answer. Items on their list included hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and cold- and flu-related products.

I identified six stocks that would likely experience increased revenues as a result of this phenomenon:

  1. The Kroger Co. (KR)
  2. Target Corporation (TGT)
  3. Walmart Inc. (WMT)
  4. Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)
  5. Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST)
  6. CVS Health Corporation (CVS)

Best Stocks for 2020?

I first compared the ratings of these stocks using Seeking Alpha Premium stock comparison tool. This gives a snapshot of of how Seeking Alpha contributors, sell-side analysts and Seeking Alpha's Quant rating algorithm grade the stock.

Best Stocks for 2020

Source: Seeking Alpha Premium

CVS and AMZN are standout stocks here. I next looked at valuation metrics against historical valuation metrics. As discussed elsewhere, my favored valuation metric is EV/EBITDA.

Source: Seeking Alpha Premium, Alon Zieve analysis

Amazon is

This article was written by

Alon Zieve profile picture
Alon is an experienced growth company executive, currently serving as the CFO of Bringg. Previously Alon was the COO of Seeking Alpha. Alon joined Seeking Alpha in 2016 and was responsible for the media business, operations and finance. Alon previously served as CFO of Natural Intelligence, and  held a number of executive positions within the BATM Group.  Alon holds a BA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, and an ACA from the ICAEW.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in AMZN, CVS over the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (38)

beefy136 profile picture
if cvs is going to be great what the hell is happening to it I am down now bought 5000 shares at an average of 55.25 in the middle of last year and have lost most of my profit .. over 50000 dollars worth It looks like it may have some support around 60-61 what do you all think .
Trad355 profile picture
Water food ammo. Stocks are the last thing u want stock up on
revenue != earnings and all of these stores left the "revenue growth translating to income" rhetoric in the rear view a long time ago
Alon Zieve profile picture
There is definitely some truth to that. But extremely hard to model properly
VladPutin profile picture
When we see fist-fights at Costco over toilet paper in the news, it makes sense that a lot of people are probably saying “I don’t need this headache or stress, order from Amazon prime.” I would bet AMZN benefits from Coronavirus in a big way.
Michael Dolen profile picture
$WBA should be added to this list.
Alon Zieve profile picture
That's fair. WBA is worth looking at as well
Buffalo_Ken profile picture
I read somewhere about a fairly widely available medicine that is on the list of "essential medicines" that can be helpful - or at least some think. It might have had something to do with treating malaria. I think it began with a C. I'll see if I can find the link.
Buffalo_Ken profile picture
It took a while, but I found the link: Chloroquine


I make no advance statements regarding the efficacy of this as a possible treatment - I just read about it elsewhere and in the context it seemed credible - So take it for what it is. Nothing but an idea.
Looks like a chemical used to treat 'ich' on aquarium fish.
coors light
If this were a real emergency, CDC would be advising everyone to remain calm.
The markets are telling us the Coronavirus Crisis has the chance to last for several quarters, as testing is just getting started. Eight (8) US States have declared a State of Emergency....as the number of cases has spike higher....!

The entire country of Italy has shutdown because of the Coronavirus. That is a warning it could also happen in the US as well...?

Job loses are coming for those industries that have been hit the hardest by the Coronavirus, such as Airlines, Oil and Gas, Cruise lines, Consumer Services, Auto Manufacturing, etc....

NFLX and DIS is my lockdown stock ....
Below the radar profile picture
Italy has now just over 10.000 confirmed cases, and already the hospitals and intensive care units are overloaded. Doctors are told to prioritize the younger patients who have better odds of surviving. The rest must be left to die.


Italy is a country of 60 million people, and already at 10.000 sick it has come to this. Being forced to leave people to die.

Just as recently as 19th of February, Italy had still just 3 confirmed cases (!!!), and now the hospitals are overflowing with dying people.

U.S now has 950 confirmed cases, and the pace is accelerating. This is not a game anymore, it is deadly serious. The number of dead is already twice that of what was the number of sick just 3 weeks ago.

My guess is that the U.S. does not have more intensive care units available in relation to the population than Italy. In just a few weeks from now, the hospitals would start to overflow just like in Italy now. And that will just be the start, after that it will get really ugly.

For new cases after that, there will be basically no advanced healthcare available. It will be survival of the fittest, and the rest will die.

Stock will be cheaper later at the pinnacle of misery. First it will get a lot worse.
Actually, the US does. While the US is not high in total hospital beds per capita, we actually have one of the highest rates of ICU beds per capita.
Have you thought about where DIS makes it's profits ?
losbronces profile picture
Stock up and cause shortages does not seem like appropriate advice. The one I really don't understand is the "run" on toilet paper. Covid19 is not that kind of flu...
Truth_AndMovement profile picture
right lol....the panic is becoming super pathetic at this point. just sad to see people reduced to this level by the fear-peddlers of the media
CommonSense_ profile picture
I think the reason people are buying so much toilet paper is because they see everybody else buying toilet paper and empty toilet paper shelves in other countries. The expectation of a shortage creates a shortage.
The article is about stocks to stock up on, not household goods.
Did you read it at all??
Buyandhold 2012 profile picture
"CVS and Amazon are standout stocks here."

I agree.
If I am not mistaken, CVS impressive 2019 y/y growth came through a big acquisition, so this rate of growth is not likely to happen again in 2020.
This being said, I am long CVS. Cheers !
Really.....ca mon just a little common sense and all will be ok STOP FEAR MONGERING .... dam I can’t believe how many people could be so silly about the Flu.. you will only have a problem if you are not Healthy.... then you should take xtra precautions.. if your sick wear a mask .. not if your healthy
We have had a lot worse things and did very well just be Smart and for god sake stop listening to CNN they are only good at sports
They are the Worst!!!! OMG CNN is against America !!
El Sol profile picture
It’s not just the flu. It’s a bio weapon with parts of SARS and HIV engineered in. Your body
Guess you missed the news. Check BBC. There is a gene therapy cure for HIV. A Second person has been confirmed fully recovered from HIV. The Chinese scientist who developed the cure is in jail.
lorinstoll profile picture
BBC is 1000% fake news.

Plus they hate Europeans and America, don't trust those tossers
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