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Nov. 28, 2020, 1:15 p.m. EST

These 5 stocks will profit from the dollar’s continuing decline

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By Jeff Reeves

Things look mighty bleak for the dollar given the damage to the U.S. economy from the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak and our national debt that is soaring to new heights after Donald Trump’s tax cuts and free-wheeling spending over the last four years.

In fact, October marked the first time since February 2013 that the euro was used more frequently than the dollar as the currency of choice for global payments, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. And recently, Goldman Sachs warned the dollar could fall by as much as 15% in value over the next two years.

Of course, America’s currency is no stranger to waxing and waning in influence, and we just happen to be in a weak period for the dollar. So there’s no reason to worry we’re all doomed to trade gold or canned goods instead of greenback.

However, investors looking for outperformance in 2021 may want to position their portfolio now to capitalize on this currency dynamic — because contrary to what some may think, a dollar that declines against its international peers can actually give a lift to certain U.S.-based multinational stocks. That’s because when sales are booked abroad in comparatively stronger currencies, it can result in a nice boost to profitability by simple virtue of exchange rates alone.

The U.S. Dollar Index /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY +0.08% , a measure of the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, is down more than 10% from its 2020 highs and dangerously close to a new 52-week low. Here are five weak-dollar plays that could wind up ahead if the dollar continues to decline in 2021.

Semiconductor giant Broadcom /zigman2/quotes/200646538/composite AVGO -1.38% has a lot going for it right now, as evidenced by the stock’s impressive rise of more than 20% so far in 2020.

For starters, news this summer that top competitor Intel /zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite INTC -2.82% is considering an exit from chip-making naturally lifted the foundries that do manufacture semiconductors — like Broadcom.

And with a business focused on communications devices including WiFi and Bluetooth technology, Broadcom is a play on the massive uptake in working from home as well as 5G rollouts across the telecom industry.

Broadcom’s future is equally bright. That’s because based on its 2019 financials, domestic net revenue was just $4.2 billion compared with $8.1 billion in China and a total of more than $17.3 billion in total. Broadcom’s chips are sent to other hardware and electronics manufacturers, and typically these firms are located in regions like Asia where operations are cheaper rather than in the U.S.

Throw in forecasts of nearly 10% revenue growth next year, and the stage may be set for a nice pop next year if a weakening dollar help lift its bottom line.

Admittedly, Coca-Cola  /zigman2/quotes/209159848/composite KO -1.08% has struggled this year. It remains down more than 10% from its early-2020 highs even as other consumer staples stocks have taken off. That’s in large part because of its foodservice-reliant business that provides soft drinks to restaurants — and with coronavirus forcing people to eat at home or get their orders to go, demand for fountain drinks isn’t what it used to be.

But Coke appears to be turning a corner. Shares topped expectations after earnings in October , just in time to also ride the optimism that vaccines could help hasten restaurant reopenings in the coming months. Furthermore, it has used the business lull to focus on longer-term headwinds created by changing consumer tastes, announcing it will discontinue Odwalla juices and Tab diet soda as part of a continued restricting in its product portfolio.

That could mean the time is right to drink up Coke stock. Consider that in 2019, less than one-third of net operating revenue at this $220 billion staples behemoth was generated from its North American operations. A weak dollar could lift international profitability at the perfect time.

It’s worth noting, too, that a generous dividend north of 3% coupled with more than 50 consecutive years of dividend increases makes Coca-Cola a stock worth holding patiently even if things may stay a bit rocky for the next few months.

While a number of health-care stocks related to the coronavirus vaccine have been rallying lately, Big Pharma mainstay Merck /zigman2/quotes/209956077/composite MRK +1.47% hasn’t really gone anywhere since its initial rebound from the market lows in March. In fact, it’s actually down a hair from where it traded in early April. As the old saying goes, investors like to buy the rumor and sell the news — so now that those gains have been had, it’s time to look to the next big market trend.

Merck could be at the center of one of those opportunities. It is enjoying big success with its Keytruda cancer treatment, which some analysts predicted will become the best-selling drug in the world by 2023. And investors too distracted by coronavirus news may have missed that Merck doubled down on its dominant position in the oncology market with the $2.75 billion acquisition of biotech start-up VelosBio in November.

/zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed
US : U.S.: ICE Futures U.S.
90.84
+0.07 +0.08%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 18, 2021 6:17a
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/zigman2/quotes/200646538/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 445.85
-6.22 -1.38%
Volume: 1.82M
Jan. 15, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
70.77
Dividend Yield
3.23%
Market Cap
$180.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.14M
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/zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 57.58
-1.67 -2.82%
Volume: 50.27M
Jan. 15, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.29
Dividend Yield
2.29%
Market Cap
$235.96 billion
Rev. per Employee
$649,504
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/zigman2/quotes/209159848/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 48.70
-0.53 -1.08%
Volume: 24.37M
Jan. 15, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
25.26
Dividend Yield
3.37%
Market Cap
$209.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
$432,401
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/zigman2/quotes/209956077/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 83.38
+1.21 +1.47%
Volume: 9.74M
Jan. 15, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
18.42
Dividend Yield
3.12%
Market Cap
$210.95 billion
Rev. per Employee
$656,141
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