Healthy Returns: Top 3 Fitness Stocks to Strengthen Your Portfolio

Healthy Returns: Top 3 Fitness Stocks to Strengthen Your Portfolio

Taking care of our health and overall wellness has clearly become increasingly prioritized in today’s society. For this reason, fitness stocks could offer promising returns riding this flourishing trend.

The beauty of the fitness industry is that businesses in this space tend to generate highly recurring cash flows. Whether it’s the subscription-based model of gyms or the daily consumption of supplements, the fitness industry isn’t cyclical. In fact, I would argue that the industry is almost recession-proof, as economic downturns are unlikely to deter individuals from prioritizing their health and fitness goals.

Thanks to this highly appealing characteristic, investing in fitness stocks can prove to be a great choice. However, the industry is fiercely competitive, so it’s important to go with the top-tier players. I selected the following three fitness stocks with this consideration in mind.

Planet Fitness (PLNT)

Source: Ken Wolter /

Planet Fitness (NYSE:PLNT) is one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers globally, based on the number of members and locations. At the end of March, the company boasted roughly 19.6 million members and 2,599 stores located across the U.S. and its territories, as well as in Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia.

The company’s low-cost membership model has proven durable, ensuring a predictable and recurring stream of cash flow. The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates this resilience well. Despite the temporary closures of many of its gyms, which impacted memberships in the short term, Planet Fitness’s financials rebounded swiftly. In fact, revenues and net income hit new record highs last year, showing the company’s ability to emerge stronger even after a severely challenging time.

Finally, note that out of its 2,599 stores, 2,341 are franchised, and only 258 are corporate-owned. Therefore, Planet Fitness effectively leverages its brands to collect high-margin royalties without worrying about each gym’s underlying costs and overall profitability. For this reason, I see PLNT stocks as a top pick for gaining exposure in the fitness industry.

Lululemon Athletica (LULU)

Lululemon storefront in a mall. People shop inside the store among the clothes. LULU stock.

Source: lentamart / Shutterstock

Shifting gears from gyms to fitness apparel, Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) has built one of the strongest brands in the space. The brand initially gained popularity for its distinctive yoga leggings, particularly among women. It quickly became a go-to brand for those seeking high-quality, stylish, and functional yoga apparel.

Over the years, however, Lululemon has expanded its product line to include a wide range of fitness and lifestyle categories, such as running, training, and casual wear. In addition to this, Lululemon has made great efforts to gain market share in the men’s category.

Thanks to these initiatives and the overall cultivation of a loyal customer base, Lululemon has managed to sustain robust growth momentum. Even after years of exceptional growth, revenues grew by 19% last year to a record $9.6 billion.

The stock has lost more than 40% of its value year-to-date and is thus the worst performer in the S&P 500 Index so far in 2024. This is due to growing investor concerns regarding an upcoming slowdown in growth due to intensifying competition. That said, I believe that Lululemon’s brand is more resilient than most realize and that the company remains a top fitness stock with strong prospects ahead.

On Holding (ONON)

A photograph of a person running along the side of a road.

Source: It for you /

Another fitness stock with strong prospects moving forward is On Holding (NYSE:ONON). The Swiss company has revolutionized the athletic footwear market in recent years, gaining strong traction in the industry.

Building a reputation for its innovative approach to running shoes, On quickly earned the trust of professional athletes and casual runners alike. Its success is built on its one-of-a-kind, patented CloudTec technology, which apparently provides superior cushioning and support, improving the running experience.

In its most recent Q1 results, On’s net sales rose by 20.9% to CHF 508.2 million, or by 29.2% in constant currency, despite a rather wobbly spending environment in high-end discretionary and luxury goods.

Further, leveraging this unique technology, On has cultivated a loyal following among affluent consumers who are willing to pay premium prices for its shoes. This has enabled On to achieve industry-leading profit margins. The mix of an up-and-coming brand that has managed to sustain robust growth and exceptional margins for a while makes On a top fitness stock in today’s market.

On the date of publication, Nikolaos Sismanis did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Nikolaos Sismanis is a professional research analyst with five years of experience in the field of equity research and financial modeling. Nikolaos has authored over 1,000 stock-related articles that focus on uncovering deep value opportunities, identifying growth stocks at reasonable valuations, and shining a spotlight on overlooked international equities.

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