What are the best coronavirus stocks? Ones whose COVID-19 programs aren't their only hope. The riskiest coronavirus stocks are ones that have all their chips on COVID-19 programs that aren't yet on the market.
The good news for investors is that there are several solid public companies that have plenty of other growth drivers on top of their coronavirus focus. Some have more to offer than others, though. Here are three top coronavirus stocks to buy in October.
1. Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has unsurprisingly established itself as a leader in COVID-19 testing. The healthcare giant secured emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for six COVID-19 diagnostics tests. In August, Abbott won a $760 million contract with the U.S. government to supply 150 million BinaxNOW diagnostic tests.
Even after the pandemic ends, testing will remain important. Abbott should be able to generate solid revenue from its various COVID-19 tests for years to come.
But Abbott is a great stock to buy even without its COVID-19 opportunities. Sales are soaring for the company's Freestyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring system. This momentum is likely to continue. The company also has a strong lineup of other products that should contribute to its growth.
As a bonus, Abbott also offers one of the steadiest dividends to be found. The company is a longtime member of the group of stocks known as Dividend Aristocrats -- members of the S&P 500 that have increased their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. Abbott has raised its dividend for 48 years in a row and has paid a quarterly dividend since 1924.
2. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
President Trump recently gave a ringing public endorsement for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:REGN) experimental COVID-19 antibody therapy REGN-COV2. He credited the therapeutic candidate for rapidly relieving the effects of COVID-19.
It seems likely that REGN-COV2 will secure FDA emergency use authorization. Assuming that happens, the U.S. government will make the antibody therapy available to American COVID-19 patients at no cost.
As promising as REGN-COV2 might be, it's not the main reason to consider buying Regeneron stock. Eczema drug Dupixent raked in $945 million in the second quarter, up 70% year over year. Cancer drug Libtayo has even stronger momentum, with its sales soaring 96% to $80 million in Q2.
Look for both of these drugs to generate more growth for Regeneron going forward. Dupixent could pick up additional approvals in eosinophilic esophagitis (a chronic immune disease) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the future. Regeneron and its partner Sanofi plan to file for U.S. and European regulatory approvals for Libtayo as a first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) could have big coronavirus-related news coming later this month. The drugmaker thinks there's a really good chance that it and BioNTech will announce preliminary results from a late-stage study of coronavirus vaccine candidate BNT162b2 by the end of October.
Expect Pfizer and BioNTech to quickly file for FDA emergency use authorization of BNT162b2 if the late-stage study results are positive. If the vaccine candidate wins EUA, the two companies stand to receive $1.95 billion to supply 100 million doses to the U.S. government. This supply agreement also has an option for the U.S. to purchase up to 500 million additional doses.
More big news should also be on the way for Pfizer. The company thinks that its planned merger of Upjohn with Mylan will close before year-end. The deal will boost Pfizer's growth as Viatris -- the new entity created by the merger -- will take a basket of Pfizer's older drugs with declining sales.
Income-seeking investors will still have a lot to like with Pfizer after the transaction finalizes, though. The company will continue to offer an attractive dividend. Anyone who holds onto their shares in both Viatris and Pfizer will receive a combined dividend in line with Pfizer's current dividend, which yields over 4%.