Is this the end of the stock market crash? I’d buy this FTSE 100 stock anyway

Royston Wild
Screen of price moves in the FTSE 100

This pre-Easter week provided much-needed relief for battered FTSE 100 stocks and their shareholders. Britain’s blue-chip index was (as I typed) on course to enjoy a 5% gain for this shortened week as market makers have cheered a slowdown in global Covid-19 infection rates. Hopes of a breakthrough in oil supply talks between Russia and Saudi Arabia helped bourses to rise too. With investor confidence remaining extremely fragile though, it’d be a mistake to rule out the possibility of a fresh stock market crash.

Any worsening of the coronavirus crisis could prompt stock owners to rush for the exits again. It clearly pays to remain well invested in companies that are continuing to trade well despite the pandemic.

Protect yourself from another stock market crash

One such share I reckon is a top buy today is FTSE 100 stock Just Eat Takeaway (LSE: JET) as coronavirus rates in the UK continue to spread.

The takeaway delivery giant isn’t just surviving in these troubled times though. With Europeans still confined in their homes, demand for take-out food is soaring. Just Eat Takeaway’s latest trading release on Thursday illustrated the point perfectly.

It announced that orders in the three months to March exploded 50% year-on-year to a staggering 46.1m. This was in spite of a cyber attack in mid-March that affected “several hundred thousand orders.” Growth was particular impressive in Germany where order numbers rocketed 126% from the 2019 quarter to 22.2m.

It said that restaurant closures and falling demand from business caused order volumes to fall from the middle of March onwards. But volumes had “recovered strongly” by the end of March. As well as enjoying larger order numbers, Just Eat said that average values per order had improved.

A FTSE 100 star

Just Eat Takeaway advised that trade would return to normal levels after the crisis. No surprises there. But the exact timing of when infection rates begin to recede significantly enough for governments to lift lockdown measures remains unknown. It could well be the case that the takeaway titan continues to do a roaring trade for many months yet.

But looking beyond the short term, I reckon this FTSE 100 share is in great shape to thrive in the years ahead. Ordering takeaway online or via your mobile device continues to pick up steam at a blistering rate. It is why Just Eat Takeaway saw 2,000 restaurants sign up to its model in its key Netherlands territory in just one week recently. No wonder City analysts expect annual earnings to more than double in 2021.

It remains possible that the FTSE 100 stock could experience more disruption should growing infections cause more restaurants to close. Still, the huge number of eateries on its books means that it should perform much better than the industry’s smaller players and keep growing order numbers at a blistering rate.

It’s also likely that Just Eat Takeaway’s business will remain resilient during the imminent European recession. Past evidence shows that takeaway orders remain broadly solid in times of hard economic conditions. This is just one brilliant blue-chip today I’d buy today and hold for years to come.

The post Is this the end of the stock market crash? I’d buy this FTSE 100 stock anyway appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Just Eat Takeaway.com N.V. 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.

Motley Fool UK 2020