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COVID-19: 3 Stocks That Walked off the Pandemic Without a Scratch

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The COVID-19 market crash was absolutely devastating for global stocks. Top to bottom, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 37% — and most global indices posted similar numbers.

While markets have recovered significantly from their March lows, many individual stocks remain depressed–particularly airlines, hotels and cruise companies. On the other hand, some stocks not only survived the pandemic, but also thrived during its worst months.

The NASDAQ has already bounced back and reached all-time highs, a clear sign that tech stocks have walked off the worst of the pandemic. “Essential service” stocks have also done admirably well.

If your portfolio was concentrated in these types of industries, you’d have made it through the COVID-19 turbulence without a scratch. The following are three stocks that would have contributed to such results if you’d held them over the last three months.

Canadian National Railway

The Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR)(NYSE:CNI) is a railroad company that survived the COVID-19 market crash without too much trouble. On February 20–generally considered the start of the crash–it traded for $124. As of this writing, it was trading for $121.6. The stock is down less than 2% from its pre-COVID level.

That shouldn’t come as any surprise, however. As a transportation company, CN is an essential service. It ships timber, grain and petrochemicals–all vital items for the economy. As a result, it was able to operate normally through the COVID-19 lockdowns.

It grew its earnings by an impressive 31% in the first quarter, despite numerous headwinds. Overall, an admirable performance in the era of COVID-19.


Shopify Inc (TSX:SHOP)(NYSE:SHOP) has to have been one of the best-performing TSX stocks in the COVID-19 era. Trading at $711 on February 20, it was worth $1,089 as of this writing–a 53% gain!

Similar to CNR, SHOP’s strong performance in the market crash was due to a surprise earnings beat. When the company released its earnings for Q1, it revealed that it grew revenue 47% and adjusted earnings by 210% year over year.

Personally, I wasn’t quite as impressed by these earnings as some. Despite the high adjusted earnings growth, the company still lost money in GAAP terms. Nevertheless, the markets took the news well, and sent SHOP soaring.


Cargojet Inc (TSX:CJT) is a lesser-known company that had a good go of it during the COVID-19 market crash. As of this writing, it traded for $147, far higher than where it was before the pandemic began. It’s not hard to see why.

In a first quarter that saw most airlines lose money, CJT grew its adjusted earnings by 24.5% year over year. As a result of the post-earnings rally, CJT is now extremely expensive, trading for nearly 200 times earnings.

Nevertheless, this is one airline that performed brilliantly despite COVID-19–which is more than you can say about airlines in general.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Andrew Button owns shares of Canadian National Railway. David Gardner owns shares of Canadian National Railway. Tom Gardner owns shares of Shopify. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Canadian National Railway, CARGOJET INC., Shopify, and Shopify. The Motley Fool recommends Canadian National Railway.

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