In a bear market, savvy investors are always on the lookout for opportunities.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the closure of all non-essential stores. This could be viewed as a knock-on benefit for online platforms.
Changing shopping habits in recent years have seen the emergence of online retail and a drop in high street sales. Some retailers have adapted with the times and built a formidable online presence or reverted to online only. These retailers are now in a better position to survive as well as thrive.
In my opinion, the current situation has thrown up two excellent opportunities in the shape of JD Sports (LSE:JD) and ASOS (LSE:ASOS).
JD Sports has been bucking the retail trend for a few years now. Many businesses have fallen foul of the changing habits of the technology-savvy consumer. JD Sports has not been one of them and is thriving in a new retail world with thriving online platforms.
The market crash has seen a 40% decrease in the company’s share price, but this is part of the reason I am drawn to it. It is currently trading near to 450p, which I see as a relative bargain. Its share price, prior to the market crash, had increased almost 800% over the previous five years. This is a mammoth performance for a time when other retailers have been shutting up shop.
Reviewing this top performer, its profit levels have increased every year since 2014. A staggering 400% increase in profit levels between 2014 and 2019 shows just how well the undisputed king of retail is performing.
Despite all high street stores closing down due to Covid-19, JD Sports’ online store remains fully operational. Its Christmas trading update, released in early January, was brief, but said it expected full-year profits to be at the top end of its forecasts of £403 to £433m. This was revised in a Covid-19 update last week, which also said that FY results would be delayed.
With dividend per share increasing year on year, JD Group could prove a worthy addition to any portfolio.
With close to 1,000 brands available on its site, and shipping to almost 200 countries, Asos is a big fish in a rather big pond.
In a recent trading update, the four months to 31 December 2019 saw a huge 20% increase in retail sales compared to the same period last year. ASOS also saw a 20% increase in revenue in this period compared to the same period last year. These are promising results for the retailer, who had issues with fulfilment and stock the year prior.
Although much has changed since these results have been announced, I do feel as though ASOS will continue with some form of normality due to its purely online offering. People still need to buy clothes, just maybe not as much until this pandemic subsides.
I believe the US market could be key to ASOS’ success. Its recent trading update showed a 23% hike in retail sales in the US against last year’s figures. ASOS figureheads have previously pointed towards the US market being room for growth and this result shows it is heading in the right direction.
The share price dipped 60% in the market crash due to Covid-19 but this could make it another bargain to pick up at a cheap price.
Jabran Khan has no position in any shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.