MILLBURN, N.J. ( Stockpickr) -- It's that time of year again: time to prepare for cold and flu season.The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone six months and older get the influenza vaccine. Of course, you will want to check with your own physician as there may be some side effects and risks. I have already been vaccinated. Investors can prepare for things in another way: with stocks. With that in mind, I've compiled a portfolio of stocks to take advantage of the impending cold and flu season. Traditional Vaccines Sanofi -Avenits ( SNY), through its Sanofi Pasteur subsidiary, GlaxoSMithKline ( GSK) and Novartis ( NVS) all manufacture influenza vaccines. For the 2010-2011 flu season, a total of 140 million doses are initially planned for shipment by these three companies: 70 million from Sanofi-Aventis; 30 million from GlaxoSmithKline and 40 million from Novartis. Please note that all three of these companies are headquartered outside of the U.S.. Sanofi-Aventis is French, GlaxoSmithKline is British, and Novartis is Swiss. This may have certain tax implications upon the payment of dividends for which you should consult your tax advisor. >>Who Owns Sanofi-Aventis?: Warren Buffett Here is a quick comparison of all three of these pharmaceutical companies:
Given a choice between these two manufacturers of inhaled influenza treatments, I would prefer to stick to GlaxoSmithKline, which has a higher yield (AstraZeneca's yield is only 2.80%) and a better portfolio of products. >>Also: 4 Safest Health Care Stocks Oral Flu Treatments Tamiflu, generic name is oseltamivir, is an oral influenza treatment, administered in liquid or capsule form. Tamiflu is sold by Roche Holdings (RHHBY: Pink Sheets), and developer Gilead Sciences ( GILD) receives a royalty of about 20% on all Tamiflu sales. Tamiflu is by far the largest-selling noninjectible form of influenza treatment. Gilead as a biotechnology company is far less dependent on its existing portfolio of drugs and is growing from the development of new treatments. The company's growth rate is at least 10% but does not pay a dividend. Of all the companies mentioned in my flu stocks portfolio, Gilead has the best growth prospects. Disinfectants Doors handles, computer keyboards, pillows, toilets, sinks -- they're all huge breeding grounds for germs, including influenza. There are two widely known brands that are used around the home as disinfectants. The first is Lysol, which is manufactured by another British company, Reckitt Benckiser, which is not publically traded in the U.S. The only way that you can obtain exposure to Reckitt Benckiser is through owning shares in the iShares United Kingdom ETF ( EWU). The combined exposure of Reckitt Benckiser, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca in the EWU ETF is about 9.1%, with Reckitt Benckiser contributing only about 1.5%. By the way, this ETF has a dividend of about 2.8% >>Also: Dividend ETFs That Deserve a Spot in Your Portfolio The second most-recognized brand of disinfectant is Clorox ( CLX). Clorox is a consumer products company best-known for its cleaning and disinfecting products. In addition, the company has jumped into the market for environmentally friendly products with its Green Works line of laundry and home-cleaning products. Clorox is based in the U.S., has a market capitalization of about $8.7 billion and yields about 3.5%. Recently, Clorox reported a very disappointing third quarter, missing consensus estimated by 5 cents. In turn, Clorox stock dropped dramatically and trades about 9% below its 52-week high and at levels not seen at since July. However, the stock appears to be finding some support at these levels and could offer a good entry point for traders or those seeking to capture a nice dividend. >>Also: Top-Rated Household Product Stocks
Hand Sanitizer Purell hand sanitizer is gaining acceptance not only by consumers for home use but by medical facilities, restaurants, book stores and other public places. Purell is a division of Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), the $180 billion market capitalization health care and consumer products company. Besides Purell, J&J produces a wide variety of consumer products, including Band-Aid, Tylenol, Splenda, Neutrogena and Pepsid. The company is also one of the largest manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in the world. >>Also: 3 Stocks That Could Benefit From Buybacks More than any of the other pharmaceutical companies in my cold and flu portfolio, J&J has the most diverse portfolio of products. The company pays a dividend of about 3.4%. Unfortunately, the stock has been pretty much stuck in a trading range of $55 to $65 for the better part of the last decade. Eventually, J&J will break out of that range. That day may come soon.
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