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Peleton Shares Rise on Potential Sales Boost from Covid Variant

The World Health Organization is holding an emergency meeting Friday following the discovery of the variant, known as B.1.1.529.
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Peloton  (PTON) - Get Peloton Interactive, Inc. Class A Report shares rose Friday, amid anticipation the fitness equipment/software company will benefit from the spread of the new Covid variant.

Peloton sales soared early in the pandemic, but growth has slowed recently along with the pandemic.

The stock recently traded at $45.65, up 4%. It’s still down 61% in the last three months.

As for Covid, The World Health Organization is holding an emergency meeting Friday following the discovery of the variant, known as B.1.1.529, in a traveler visiting Israel from South Africa earlier this week. It has also been identified in Hong Kong, according to U.K. health officials.

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"WHO is closely monitoring the recently reported variant B.1.1.529. So far under 100 sequences have been reported," the agency said in a statement. "Early analysis shows that this variant has a large number of mutations that require and will undergo further study."

The variant carries a spike protein -- the basis for infection -- that is vastly different from that which current vaccines are designed to neutralize, health authorities have said, and is mutating fast. Britain has restricted travel from South Africa, and several neighboring countries as a result, with the European Union following shortly after.

Earlier this month, Peloton cut its forecast for annual revenue by up to $1 billion, saying it sees lighter-than-expected holiday sales because of the economic reopening which has led to people spending more time out of their homes and off their exercise bikes.

Peloton forecast fiscal second quarter sales of $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion, well below analysts’ forecast of $1.5 billion.