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The pandemic won’t always be a pandemic, but the virus is going to with us as an endemic part of life. That’s the message from a new piece on Reuters.

Reuters interviewed 18 virus specialists working on the pandemic. According to the piece, the specialists were hopeful that we would be able to totally eradicate Covid-19 after we started to get strong data on how effective the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were in November and December.

However, recent data emerging from new variants in South Africa and Brazil has undermined that hope, and the group now believes the “SARS-CoV-2 will not only remain with us as an endemic virus, continuing to circulate in communities, but will likely cause a significant burden of illness and death for years to come.”

As a result, behavioral defense lines will continue to be with us for the long-term, which is a material from an investor perspective. Stocks associated with coping strategies related to the pandemic have been largely dealt over the past two months. The realization that these may be viable long-term opportunities may drive a resurgence.

With that in mind, we take a look at a few of the most interesting opportunities in the space, including: Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL), Alpha Pro Tech Ltd (NYSEAMERICAN:APT), Boon Industries (OTCMKTS:BNOW), and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT).

 

Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ: QDEL) frames itself as a company that develops, manufactures, and markets diagnostic testing solutions for applications in infectious diseases, cardiology, thyroid, women’s and general health, eye health, gastrointestinal diseases, and toxicology worldwide.

It offers Sofia and Sofia 2 fluorescent immunoassay systems; QuickVue, a lateral flow immunoassay products; and InflammaDry and AdenoPlus, a point-of-care products for the detection of infectious and inflammatory diseases and conditions of the eye.

Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ: QDEL) most recently announced that it has received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), allowing the company to market its new QuickVue® At-Home COVID-19 Test for the qualitative detection of the nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2.

According to the release, this test is authorized for prescription home use with self-collected (unobserved) anterior nares (NS) swab specimens directly from individuals aged 14 years and older who are suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider within the first six days of the onset of symptoms. This test is also authorized for prescription home use with adult-collected anterior NS samples directly from individuals aged 8 years or older who are suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider within the first six days of the onset of symptoms.

Even in light of this news, QDEL has had a rough past week of trading action, with shares sinking something like -12% in that time. That said, chart support is nearby and we may be in the process of constructing a nice setup for some movement back the other way.

Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ: QDEL) managed to rope in revenues totaling $809.2M in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 431.7%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($489.9M against $337M).

 

Alpha Pro Tech Ltd (NYSEAMERICAN: APT) sells disposable protective apparel, building supply products, and infection control products in the United States and internationally. The big idea powering the stock during its runs over recent months is its personal protection equipment like masks.

The company operates through three segments: Building Supply, Disposable Protective Apparel, and Infection Control. The company distributes its products through a network of purchasing groups, distributors, and independent sales representatives, as well as through its sales and marketing force.

Alpha Pro Tech Ltd (NYSEAMERICAN: APT) most recently announced financial results for the three month period ended June 30, 2020.

Lloyd Hoffman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Pro Tech, commented, “Alpha Pro Tech delivered another exceptional quarter with triple-digit organic revenue growth, a 123% increase compared to the second quarter of 2019. Gross profit margin was nearly 50%, which is above our historical average, due to a shift in product mix towards more personal protective equipment (PPE) and extremely strong cash flow. As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, demand for our N-95 face masks and other PPE remains strong and shows no indications of slowing as we move into the second half of 2020. Our backlog of orders continues to increase with current delivery commitments into the second quarter of 2021.”

Even in light of this news, APT has had a rough past week of trading action, with shares sinking something like -16% in that time. That said, chart support is nearby and we may be in the process of constructing a nice setup for some movement back the other way. Over the past month, shares of the stock have suffered from clear selling pressure, dropping by roughly -11%.

Alpha Pro Tech Ltd (NYSEAMERICAN: APT) pulled in sales of $30M in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top line growth of 149.7%. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($24.8M against $8.1M).

 

Boon Industries (OTCMKTS: BNOW) is a small company with a big vision and some very interesting IP in play that puts it potentially at the center of the long-term virus control theme.

The company bills itself as an innovative bioscience name delivering “environmentally safe products to benefit people and the planet.” At the core of Boon’s product offering is DiOx+, a Chlorine Dioxide Disinfectant Sterilizer. Chlorine Dioxide has been approved by OSHA, FDA, EPA, CDC, USDA, and DOT. DiOx+ kills 99.9999% of harmful pathogens without dangerous toxic exposure to the user or the environment.

The proprietary chemical formulas and processes behind DiOx+ make it ideal for sterilization of mission critical, high value medical equipment and the disinfecting of air and surfaces in laboratory and hospital environments.

Boon Industries (OTCMKTS: BNOW) most recently announced that the company completed Phase-I of its EPA testing of its DIOX+.

Justin Gonzalez, CEO, stated, “Boon will complete its Form-10 Filing and Audit to go SEC Fully-Reporting this month, which will coincide with uplisting to the OTCQB. A growing number of industries and near-future contracts are relying on the superior disinfection and environmentally friendly properties of our DIOX+ product which they will use to not only disinfect municipal and drinking water supplies, but also control the water’s taste, odor and color. Our government and commercial contracts will utilize DIOX+ to sanitize complete warehouses, equipment and preparation surfaces, wash fruits and vegetables, and prevent salmonella and e-coli from contaminating meat and poultry.”

According to its release, Boon is an environmentally conscious company, and DiOx+ is the first of many environmentally friendly products that outperforms common toxic and unsafe products currently in the market today. In fact, DIOX+ technology protects the environment and human health from bacteria and by-products formed by other disinfection methods. For example, in the pulp and paper industry, the use of ClO2 has virtually eliminated dioxin in mill wastewater and has led to significant improvements in surrounding ecosystems. As a result, the Federal government is phasing out the use of chlorine in pulp mills over the next few years.

Boon Industries (OTCMKTS :BNOW) is a more speculative name on this list. But shares have been performing well, rising as much as 400% since December in a steady upward trend that has also been consolidating. A move above $0.40 could be an important technical catalyst for more upside potential.

 

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) is basically the best-of-breed for Covid-19 testing technology. The company discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells health care products worldwide.

The company’s Diagnostic Products segment offers laboratory systems in the areas of immunoassay, clinical chemistry, hematology, and transfusion; molecular diagnostics systems that automates the extraction, purification, and preparation of DNA and RNA from patient samples, as well as detects and measures infectious agents; cartridges for blood analysis; rapid diagnostics systems; molecular point-of-care testing for HIV, influenza A and B, RSV, and strep A; cardiometabolic test systems; drug and alcohol test systems, as well as remote patient monitoring and consumer self-test systems; and informatics and automation solutions for use in laboratories. It also has nutrition and pharmaceutical divisions.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) recently announced that Health Canada, under interim order, authorized the expanded use of the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system in hospital and professional health care settings to include Canadian women who are pregnant.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a new set of challenges for pregnant women who are at higher risk of contracting the virus,” said Nazli Topors, Pharm.D., medical director of Abbott’s diabetes care business in Canada. “The expanded indication for FreeStyle Libre demonstrates the technology’s positive impact on managing diabetes and the ability for health care workers to support patients during such an important time in their lives and, at the same time, limit their COVID-19 exposure while they are in the hospital.”

While this is a clear factor, it has been incorporated into a trading tape characterized by a pretty dominant offer, which hasn’t been the type of action ABT shareholders really want to see. In total, over the past five days, shares of the stock have dropped by roughly -3% on above average trading volume. All in all, not a particularly friendly tape, but one that may ultimately present some new opportunities.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) generated sales of $10.7B, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 20.9% on the top line. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($7.1B against $11.9B, respectively).

 

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