Investors looking for growth stock choices ahead of the next potential bull rally would do well to look to the fitness industry. Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) and Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ: LULU) sit at the head of a pack of fitness offerings suppressed by the start of the global pandemic event. These shares faced further headwinds with the recent downturn in financial markets and increases in interest rates from central banks.
As the world returns to a new normal, a bull rally seems almost inevitable. These two stocks offer exceptional growth potential ahead of the next big market upswing.
1. Planet Fitness banks on its Judgement Free Zone
Planet Fitness offers gym members a Judgement Free Zone, a place where they can strengthen their bodies without worrying about the thoughts or opinions of those around them. This selling proposition isn't entirely new in the gym world, but many competitors tend to limit memberships -- say, by gender or age -- to help meet those ideals. Planet Fitness offers an inclusive environment without limiting facilities to specific segments of the community.
Noble ideals do not make up a business plan, but Planet Fitness has proven its concept in the business world. With a $7 billion market capitalization, the company soars past companies that tout similar ideals (such as Torrid Holdings, Inc. and its Curves line of women-only gyms). Planet Fitness continues to grow and has shown surprising resilience throughout the early pandemic years. Earnings per share grew from $0.21 to $0.32 year over year in the third quarter, and net income increased by 50% to more than $26 million in the same period. The company's international expansion goals indicate a readiness to do more.
2. Lululemon keeps counting on the community
Lululemon brings its offerings directly to the community, eschewing traditional marketing practices in favor of local gym support and word-of-mouth advertisement. Year to date, Lululemon share prices have fallen around 10%, and while some may view this as a weakness, it also presents an opportunity for savvy investors to purchase shares at a lower cost of entry than at the start of the year.
The company remains strong and continues its rebound from the early pandemic days. Basic earnings per share increased significantly from 2021 to 2022, with second-quarter totals going from $1.60 to $2.27 year over year.
Like Planet Fitness, Lululemon continues to grow overseas as international and Canadian revenue for the second quarter increased over $1.25 million in the space of one year. Income from operations soared 38%, indicating strong growth during trying times.
Highly competitive environment
Planet Fitness faces many challenges in the fitness space. Life Time Group Holdings, for example, provides similar offerings with memberships at a variety of gyms to make it easier to find the right fit for users. Peloton Interactive still hopes to revolutionize home fitness with products, classes, and support for those who would prefer to avoid shared equipment and still get the benefits of shared support. These companies may also benefit from a fitness rally.
Older competitors of Lululemon Athletica, including Nike and Under Armor, may well find it easier to hedge against the higher freight and materials costs that arose from the pandemic and global economic or supply chain woes. Lululemon recognizes this challenge in its quarterly filings and expects to contend with it throughout 2022 and into 2023. Its awareness of the situation enables the company to plan for it and develop tools to narrow the gap when it comes to avoiding unnecessary cost increases.
The power of the unique selling proposition
These two fitness companies seek to continue to grow through their unique selling propositions. As Planet Fitness expands further into international markets, its brand recognition andglobal marketshare seem likely to broaden as a result.
Lululemon's focus on growth in both its men's and women's apparel lines remains a centerpiece of its strategy. The most recent quarterly filing shows a 27% increase in men's product revenues and a 24% growth in women's lines. Women's products still account for more than 63% of total revenue. That represents plenty of continued room for growth.
Each of these growth stocks seems ready to make the most of the next bull rally, and each currently offers a strong opportunity for investors looking for winners who learned from the early days of the pandemic and emerged stronger for that knowledge.
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Nicholas Robbins has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Lululemon Athletica, Nike, Peloton Interactive, Planet Fitness, and Under Armour (C Shares). The Motley Fool recommends Under Armour (A Shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.