"The spider's web of companies that are beneficiaries to an Ebola outbreak are becoming visible to portfolio managers," Paul Weisbruch, vice president of ETF and options sales and trading at Street One Financial, told Reuters. "It's not like buying a vaccine that might work. There's something more tangible with someone who supplies hazmat suits."
Alpha Pro Tech sold about $1.1 million worth of infection control products in the second quarter of this year, according to the company. Its CFO, Lloyd Hoffman, said that he could not disclose if Alpha Pro Tech's apparel is being used to prepare for Ebola or actively control the outbreak, as the firm is currently in a blackout period.
All Hoffman was able to comment on, he said, is that the company's N95 particulate filtering face mask has been recommended by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in "past situations like this," and that they offer other protective products too.
A spokesman for Lakeland Industries did not immediately return request for comment, but the company wrote a blog post in September touting the importance of PPE in the fight against Ebola.
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As some have pointed out, both Alpha Pro Tech and Lakeland have several factors that could make them imperfect bets, including limited cash on hand and major competition from industry stalwarts like 3M and Du Pont. (Lakeland had $6.2 million in cash at July 31, and Alpha Pro had $5.3 million at June 30, according to SEC filings).
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—Reuters contributed to this report.