As the U.S. moves into the next stages of the coronavirus epidemic, some communities are emerging from lockdown and some businesses are reopening. Still, the duration of the current health crisis isn't clear. And protests have erupted across the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
Considering this uncertain environment, when looking for stocks to buy in June, I'm not focused on the near term. Instead, I have my eyes on strong future revenue potential.
Here are three large-cap stocks that fit the bill.
Annual revenue at Target (TGT 0.05%) has been growing since 2017 as the company has ramped up its digital platform and delivery and pickup services. Target increased comparable digital sales for the sixth straight year by more than 25% when it reported a 29% gain for 2019. Order pickup, drive-up, and same-day delivery service Shipt, with growth of more than 90%, represented almost three-quarters of Target's comparable digital sales growth.
Target's strengths in digital and delivery have been buoying business through the coronavirus crisis. First-quarter digital comparable sales soared 141%. Still those gains didn't compensate for coronavirus-related expenses or declines in some product areas. Net earnings were down 63% from the year-earlier period, to $0.56 per share.
Considering the health crisis, the first-quarter report clearly stands apart. People stockpiled and bought different items -- and in different quantities -- than usual. But, importantly, the surge in online shopping for essentials shows shoppers have stayed with Target during the crisis.
More recently, while e-commerce sales continue to surge, other elements indicate business may be returning to normal. Target said it saw a jump in in-store traffic in mid-April, soaring digital growth of 200% to 300% throughout the month, and an increase in sales of discretionary products. In May, sales in all product categories continued to return to usual levels.
Annual revenue growth at Amgen (AMGN 0.29%) has faltered over the past few years as competition and lower prices have hurt sales of older products. But I think Amgen is at a turning point. Revenue in the first quarter was on the upswing thanks to newer products. And new indications for current products, as well as possible product approvals, should drive future growth.
Amgen's total revenue increased 11% to $6.2 billion in the quarter, led by products such as psoriasis drug Otezla and cholesterol drug Repatha. The biotech giant reiterated its full-year revenue forecast of $25 billion to $25.6 billion, representing a gain of as much as 9.4% from last year.
Newly acquired Otezla should become an important source of growth for Amgen. The company expects at least low-double-digit sales growth from the product over the next five years. The drug is already approved for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and two other indications, and following recent positive phase 3 data, Amgen plans on submitting data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding mild-to-moderate psoriasis.
Amgen is awaiting regulatory news on other therapies later this year. The FDA is expected to issue a decision in November on expanded prescribing information for multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis, and in December the regulatory agency is scheduled to complete its review of Amgen's biosimilar candidate to blockbuster cancer drug Rituxan. The 14 molecules in phase 3 studies -- some for more than one indication -- have the potential to fuel Amgen's sales growth in the coming years.
Revenue at Nike (NKE 0.19%) has been steadily climbing since 2012, but the company's efforts over the past two years on its online platform and direct sales to customers are why I favor it today. When Nike temporarily closed stores across the world as the coronavirus outbreak spread, the digital platform kept the brand connected to customers. Digital sales rose 36% during the most recent quarter, which included those store shutdowns.
That doesn't mean Nike wasn't hurt by the coronavirus. For instance, revenue in China fell 4% after 22 straight quarters of double-digit increases. And Nike said the impact on earnings will continue into its fiscal fourth quarter -- that report is set for June 25. But as I said regarding Target, above, this situation is temporary. Nike's digital strength should continue beyond the recent crisis as it was already going strong prior to that. Nike's digital commerce sales climbed 38% during the quarter preceding the coronavirus outbreak.
In the near term, Nike should benefit as professional sports activities -- halted due to the coronavirus outbreak -- resume. The company is the maker of NFL uniforms and benefits from the advertising opportunity and from fans buying jerseys and other souvenirs.
Some new-product launches may lose a bit of their spark due to postponement of other sporting events. For instance, the Nike Air Zoom AlphaFly Next% launches this month -- without the Tokyo Summer Olympics. But I like the fact that Nike is moving forward rather than putting products on hold. In any case, Nike's constant innovation means we probably can expect a batch of fresh products later in the game.