There's an unlikely winner emerging from the unfolding coronavirus health crisis: bleach and wipes company Clorox. Bloomberg reports the company's stock has climbed 2.5 percent to an all-time high this week while the rest of the markets take a beating.
Clorox is generally a stable, if unexciting, bet for investors. Its sales figures tend to vary little, aside from September when there’s an uptick in sales because of flu season. Coronavirus could prove to be the ultimate, all-year-round flu season. Which would be awful for tech conferences and iPhone sales, but great for Clorox.
Medical companies are also seeing a boost — The only other companies that have seen the same sort of performance on the stock market as Clorox are a pair of drug companies working on coronavirus treatments: Gilead Sciences and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
The strangest fact out of the Bloomberg report? Clorox also owns Hidden Valley salad dressings and Burt’s Bees lip care. Neither of which we expect will enjoy the same newfound buoyancy as their parent company should the coronavirus turn into a full-blown pandemic.
So, should I buy stock? — Perhaps, but only if you have the stomach for it losing all of its recent gains overnight if a cure or vaccine turns up. Also, Bloomberg argues the share price is already overinflated and that its price-to-earnings ratio already made it more expensive than other fast-moving consumer goods company’s shares before the coronavirus. So, yeah, caveat emptor.