Imagine a Touchable World
I was thinking about the companies that would benefit from this whole swine flu ordeal this morning. The obvious ones are the flu vaccine manufacturers, like Gilead Sciences (GILD) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Another, less mentioned beneficiary would be Johnson and Johnson (JNJ). J & J purchased Pfizer's (PFE) Consumer Healthcare division back in June 2006. One of the brands in the portfolio is Purell, the leading brand in hand sanitizers. Sales of hand sanitizers have been steadily rising for the past several years and they are likely to explode if people believe that the swine flu is a real threat. It's a cheap way to protect yourself from a potentially unpleasant illness.
Purell's sales have doubled since 2003, but they currently sit at just under $100 million. The product probably isn't large enough to move the earnings needle on a behemoth like JNJ that has $140 billion in revenue. Still every little bit helps, particularly in this sort of economy so as a shareholder of JNJ I'll take it. This is just another example of what a high quality company with solid assets JNJ is.
By the way, the title of this post refers to Purell's lame slogan "Imagine a Touchable World."