Many Americans ranked the COVID-19 pandemic among the top factors in determining their vote for president. Now, President-elect Joe Biden appears to be hitting the ground running in his effort to fight COVID-19. On Monday, Biden announced a Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. This board will help Biden’s transition team prepare a federal response to the coronavirus crisis once Biden takes office in January.
However, Joe Biden has already articulated a plan for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. There are three stocks that should be especially big winners when that plan is enacted.
1. Abbott Laboratories
Item No. 1 on Biden’s COVID-19 plan is to improve the nation’s COVID-19 testing capabilities. The President-elect wants to double the number of drive-through testing sites and invest in “next-generation testing,” among other steps. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) should be a prime beneficiary of these efforts.
Abbott currently markets six COVID-19 tests under the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization (EUA) program. These tests include the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card test, which is fast, cheap, and highly accurate. The U.S. government has already bought 150 million BinaxNOW tests. Look for that number to increase under Biden’s coronavirus plan.
There’s a whole lot more to Abbott than just its COVID-19 tests, though. The company is a Dividend Aristocrat with 48 consecutive years of dividend increases. Abbott is also poised to deliver strong growth over the next decade from multiple drivers, notably including its FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring system.
2. Owens & Minor
The next priority on Biden’s coronavirus plan is cranking out more personal protective equipment (PPE). The President-elect hasn’t been a fan of leaving “states, cities, tribes, and territories to fend for themselves” in obtaining PPE. Expect a big federal push on this front, which should boost the fortunes of Owens & Minor (NYSE:OMI).
Ed Pesicka, CEO of Owens & Minor, stated in the company’s Q3 conference call earlier this month that it has shipped nearly 11 billion units of PPE so far this year. The company has invested in expanding its U.S. manufacturing capabilities for PPE, and has installed a new N95 mask production line. The demand for PPE is likely to remain high even without the President-elect’s plan. However, Owens & Minor will almost certainly be a go-to source for the federal government next year as it pushes for increased PPE production.
The company also stands to win if the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is successful. When elective surgical procedures return to pre-pandemic levels, Owens & Minor’s distribution business should benefit. Meanwhile, Owens & Minor’s home healthcare business continues to boom as the U.S. population ages.
Another top priority for President-elect Biden is to quickly and efficiently distribute COVID-19 vaccines once they’re available. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is now the clear leader in the coronavirus vaccine race after announcing stellar efficacy results from an interim analysis of a late-stage study evaluating BNT162b2 on Monday.
Pfizer expects to have enough safety data to submit BNT162b2 for FDA EUA by the third week of November. Assuming all goes well, it could begin shipping doses before the end of this year. With its COVID-19 vaccine candidate demonstrating efficacy of 90% or greater, Pfizer has set the bar high for all other contenders.
The company already has a supply agreement with the U.S. government for 100 million doses of BNT162b2. Don’t be surprised if the agreement’s option to buy a much larger quantity is exercised under a Biden administration.
There are more reasons to be encouraged about Pfizer’s future, though. The company recently received regulatory clearance to move forward with the merger of its Upjohn unit, which is home to its older drugs, with Mylan. This transaction should pave the way for Pfizer’s return to solid growth.