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2 Social Distancing Stocks That Are Great Buys Today

By David Jagielski - Apr 19, 2020 at 6:49AM

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These stocks could do well even amid a pandemic.

Like businesses, investors need to adapt to changing economic conditions. And one of the biggest changes this year is how people and businesses interact with one another -- ensuring that they keep a safe distance between themselves to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, not all businesses can adapt to these changes as many have had to shut their doors or significantly alter their operations. For companies that are able to practice social distancing without adversely impacting their businesses, they can prove to be very strong investments, not just for this year but beyond.

Having the flexibility to be able to adapt to adverse conditions is a great trait that can make a stock a very stable long-term investment. Below are two stocks that fall into that criteria and that can benefit from the rise of social distancing:

1. 1Life Healthcare

1Life Healthcare (ONEM -6.00%) picked a rough year to begin trading on the markets. At around $20 per share, it's still well up from its late January IPO price of $14. However, there's a lot more potential for the company, which does business as One Medical. It owns a chain of primary care centers across the country that its members can access for an annual fee of $199. Currently, the company has locations in many major cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, the San Francisco bay area, and Washington D.C. One Medical also has plans to add locations in Austin and Atlanta. 

The company provides patients with an affordable way to avoid hospitals that are currently busy treating patients with COVID-19. With 24/7 video chat and remote appointments available, patients don't have to leave their homes to see a doctor at One Medical. And for people worried about the coronavirus, the company is offering free testing services to those who are near any of its metropolitan areas. 

Stethoscope laying on a laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

On March 18, the company released its year-end results for 2019. One Medical showed net revenue growth of 30% from the prior year, with sales of $212.7 million rising to $276.3 million. And in two years, its top line has grown by more than 56%. The one area where it continues to struggle with, however, is its bottom line. Its net losses have grown from $30.8 million in 2017 to $44.4 million in 2018 to $52.6 million this past year. But amid such rapid growth, rising expenses are not surprising, and the good news is that the losses are not spiraling out of control; its net loss in 2019 was just 19% of its revenue, compared to 21% in 2018.

The Alphabet-backed company is still in its very early stages, and there's plenty of potential for more patient growth as the pandemic continues to keep people home. As of Dec. 31, One Medical had 422,000 members. That's up 22% from the 346,000 customers who were signed up at the end of 2018 and 55% more than the 272,000 members the primary care provider had two years earlier. 

2. Roku

Roku (ROKU -5.71%) offers people who are stuck at home and social distancing with a way to entertain themselves. Whether people are buying a Roku-enabled TV or the company's streaming sticks, Roku's platform gives consumers many channels to access quality content. The entertainment hub makes it easy for users to access multiple different streaming options, making it a go-to option for people who are bored and who don't know what to watch next.

The company released its estimated first-quarter results on April 13, offering insight into what's ahead when Roku releases its official results next month. During the first three months of the year, Roku added almost 3 million more active accounts. And it's also projecting that the number of streaming hours will come in at 13.2 billion, which is a 49% increase from the prior-year quarter. Roku noted that during the tail end of the quarter, when people were staying at home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there was an increase in both new accounts and in viewing. And many of those new users could be there to stay.

Like with 1Life, one of the challenges for Roku has been in posting a profit. The company's financials have landed in the black just three times in the past nine quarters. But with sales up by 52% in 2019, growth investors have been more than willing to turn a blind eye to that.

Both stocks could be great options to add to your portfolio

1Life shares haven't been traded for the whole year, but here's how the stock has done compared to Roku and the S&P 500 over the past three months:

ROKU Chart

ROKU data by YCharts

Both stocks have outperformed the index, and that's a trend that may very well continue throughout this year. Roku and 1Life are attractive options for growth investors, and they can add some important diversification as well, since they're in two very different industries. 1Life's been less volatile thus far but both stocks should benefit from more people staying at home and social distancing.

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Stocks Mentioned

Roku Stock Quote
$82.14 (-5.71%) $-4.97
1Life Healthcare, Inc. Stock Quote
1Life Healthcare, Inc.
$7.84 (-6.00%) $0.50
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,179.26 (-2.45%) $-54.77
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,187.45 (-2.57%) $-57.68

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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