Investors are jittery about the progress of economic reopenings as coronavirus infections surge worldwide due to the highly contagious Delta variant. That said, a resulting stock market sell-off could also provide buying opportunities to discerning investors; buying stock in solid businesses at attractive prices.
To put things in perspective, at the current pace of vaccination -- averaging around 31.5 million doses globally administered daily -- it'd take about eight months to vaccinate 75% of the world's population, a level that has been estimated to bring herd immunity. Therefore, an extended period of stock market sell-off should not be discounted, and if that happens, these two stocks whose businesses are squarely tied to reopening economies could see depressed prices in the short term creating attractive entry points.
1. Walt Disney
Disney (NYSE:DIS) could be one of the prime beneficiaries of a public returning to activities away from home. The House of Mouse operates theme parks, cruise ships, hotel resorts, and retail shops, all of which involve people coming together in person. Not surprisingly, those were the segments most negatively impacted by the pandemic.
For instance, the segment that includes theme parks, experiences, and products, saw revenue decline by 37% in fiscal 2020 from the year before. Disney generated revenue from theme parks in the U.S., China, France, and Japan. When Disney reports third-quarter earnings, it will be the first time in over a year that all its theme parks will have been open.
Moreover, Disney generates a large part of overall revenue and profits in regions far along in vaccinating their populations against the coronavirus. Therefore, a surge in new cases is less likely to cause a significant drop-off in economic activity. For instance, in the U.S., where Disney generates more than half of the company's overall revenue, anyone over 12 years old who wants to be vaccinated can be.
Investors interested in accumulating shares in Disney can view a stock price drop in response to a surge in COVID cases as an opportunity to buy.
The same can be said for Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX). The international coffee chain saw revenue drop by 11.3% in 2020 as the pandemic ravaged its business. As economies reopen, it stands to reap the benefits of folks leaving their homes more often. Already, folks are returning to Starbucks and the company has recovered all of its lost sales from before the outbreak in the U.S. and 90% of sales from China.
Consider that many people are still working from home every day of the week. In the coming months, that's likely to shift to working in the office at least part-time. Some people may pick up a cup of coffee on their way to the office. Or others may walk to a Starbucks near their office for some coffee during a break from work. The good news is that over 82% of Starbucks' revenue comes from the U.S. and China, each among world leaders in terms of vaccinating their populations.
If the market panics and sells off amid rising COVID-19 transmission, Starbucks is one stock you can add to your portfolio.
What Starbucks and Disney have in common here is their businesses were devastated during the pandemic. It's no surprise then that they will benefit as economies reopen. The surge in coronavirus cases caused by the Delta variant makes investors concerned about a slowdown in the reopening or, in the worst-case scenario, more lockdowns.
That fear could be alleviated somewhat if you consider that vaccination rates are either high or accelerating in the regions Starbucks and Disney operate. Combined with the heavy economic and psychological toll the lockdowns have had, countries could have a higher threshold before implementing more of them.