It is finally December, and this year has been pretty bad, but with a bright spot on the horizon in the form of a vaccine, things are starting to look a bit rosier, and just in time for the holidays. Here are 3 top stocks to consider for December as we enter the happiest season of all.
Booking Holdings (NASDAQ: BKNG) and its site, Booking.com is the place many go to find holidays, flights, and more. Operating in 220 countries and in 44 languages, 2019 saw 845 million hotel room nights, 7 million airline tickets, and 77 million car rental days booked through its service.
COVID-19 hit the travel sector incredibly hard this year with losses across the board. Booking Holdings was no exception; its net income for Q3 was down 58% year-over-year (YoY) to $801 million. Included in this, the popular booking company lost $42 million in revenue from January to September because of paying out refunds, or money lost from free cancellations. Yet, despite this, Q3 results were expected to do worse, showing that the company could be well-positioned to recover well once restrictions are set to relax.
Although it isn’t likely we shall see any major vaccine rollout before summer 2021, Booking Holdings is expected to show a revenue growth of 52.3% next year due to an upsurge in bookings as the coronavirus vaccine will become a hopeful point on the closer-than-expected horizon. The millions of frustrated holiday plans in 2020 will likely encourage many to book early or continue with the trend of staycations. Either way, many people will be flocking to Booking.com to find the best deals for a long-awaited holiday.
Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) was a good stock to invest in even before the news of the coronavirus vaccine hit the news. It has a strong history of producing oncology and rare disease drugs as well as therapies for cardiovascular problems. Pfizer is well-known as a business and with recent news of vaccine breakthroughs in a number of pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, investors are likely to be happy as its stock rises in response to the roll-out of the new vaccine.
In the near term, Pfizer has signed deals to produce up to 450 million doses of its vaccine with the U.S., the U.K., Japan, and the E.U. committed to buying varying amounts. With the company also working on a solution to the storage problem, this pharmaceutical company could end up taking a household name status as one of the first labs to create a vaccine for the most disruptive pandemic of modern times.
In its most recent quarter, Pfizer reported a 4% YoY decrease in its revenue to $12.1 billion. It lost revenue in both its Upjohn and Consumer Healthcare revenue streams, yet, its total revenue from Biopharma increased by 3% to over $10 billion.
If the economy begins to stabilize again, Pfizer will be set to benefit from being an early provider of the coronavirus vaccine, as well as its other revenue streams returning back to pre-COVID-19 levels. This is a stock to buy now and watch grow over the next year or two.
The holidays are coming, and nothing, not even a pandemic, will get in this season’s way! This is why Diageo (NYSE: DEO) is a good stock choice for December. With many of the Diageo brands providing a good measure of holiday cheer, there will definitely be a rise in sales for drinks such as Johnnie Walker, Guinness, and Captain Morgan.
Looking at the bigger picture, long-term demand for these drinks is not likely to contract. For the fiscal year (FY) 2020, Diageo posted net sales of $11.7 billion which were only down 8.7% YoY despite general lockdowns across the globe. Diageo’s FY 2020 ended June 30, meaning that FY 2021 should have been off to a better start as restrictions were eased across the world, and bars in many parts of the world re-opened such as in the U.S. and the U.K.
Diageo owns an impressive amount of top-selling brands; Baileys is the world’s best-selling liqueur, whilst Johnnie Walker is the world’s best-selling whisky, having sold 18.4 million cases of the product in 2019. Fun fact: Jonnie Walker reached 200 years of production in 2020.
Diageo would be a great stock to invest in as it isn’t likely to go anywhere soon and will benefit from the holiday uptake in sales, as well as a return to normality as we begin to fight coronavirus with a new vaccine.
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MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently holds long positions in companies mentioned above. Read our full disclosure policy here.
Contributing Writer at MyWallSt
Poppy likes companies that go the extra mile. Her favorite stock is Amazon because she is fond of its innovation, variety, and creative solutions to sustainability.