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4 Fitness Stocks to Watch As Coronavirus Cases Rise

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The United States is witnessing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, making it necessary to impose fresh stay-at-home orders. The latest data from the Johns Hopkins University showed that COVID-19 cases across the country have crossed 16 million. Notably, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio warned on Dec 14 that the city could go into a full lockdown in the coming weeks in order to curb the rise in cases, as mentioned in an Independent article.

Although a vaccine rollout has started in the country, it will still take some time for it to be available to the majority of the population. Such a situation should be beneficial for fitness and athletic apparel and accessories stocks, which allow people to exercise at home as they continue to stay confined.

People have remained in their homes for the better part of the year. As in-home entertainment has gained popularity along with remote learning and working, people’s fitness routines have also seen a shift. They have not been able to attend gyms or yoga classes due to social distancing norms to avoiding the risk of exposure to the virus. Nonetheless, the reduced level of physical activity owing to the lockdown meant that people had to resort to means of staying healthy even while at home. Hence, they turned to equipment, apparels and other accessories, that would allow them to exercise at home and stay fit. Moreover, they also have had at their disposal a plethora of online fitness videos and classes to help them through their workouts even in the absence of a trainer. In fact, per an article by the NPD Group, the third quarter saw the home fitness equipment business continuing its strong growth with “sales up nearly double over the same period last year.”

However, the trend of exercising at home is set to continue post pandemic. Per an article by Mintel, “over half of exercisers in the US” were already exercising at home even before the pandemic. The article further mentioned that even after the pandemic, over half of the consumers stated that they “were not comfortable going back to the gym compared to only two in ten who said they were comfortable doing so.” This is because people are becoming more concerned about their personal health and are in no hurry to go back to crowded places. In fact, the report stated that consumers might see less need to retain their gym memberships as they grow accustomed to exercising at home.

4 Top Stocks to Watch

With coronavirus cases picking up in the United States, people will have to remain at homes. This means they will have to keep on exercising at home to stay fit. Moreover, the trend is also expected to continue even post the pandemic as people are in no hurry to return to crowded places out of safety concerns. Hence, this is an ideal time to watch out for fitness and athletic apparel and accessories stocks that stand to benefit from this trend. We have handpicked four such stocks that carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Nautilus, Inc. NLS is a fitness solutions company that designs, develops, sources, and markets cardio and strength fitness products, and related accessories for consumer and commercial use in the United States. It offers specialized cardio products, treadmills, ellipticals, bike products, strength products, home gyms, dumbbells, and kettlebells primarily under the Nautilus, Bowflex, Octane Fitness, Schwinn, and Universal brands, as well as fitness digital platform under the JRNY brand. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 90.2% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next quarter is more than 100%.

Escalade, Incorporated ESCA, along with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells sporting goods in the United States. The company provides fitness products under the USWeight, The STEP, Lifeline, Kettleworx, Natural Fitness, and PER4M brand names. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 38.7% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%.

Peloton Interactive, Inc. PTON provides interactive fitness products in the United States. It offers connected fitness products, such as the Peloton Bike and the Peloton Tread, which include touchscreen that streams live and on-demand classes. The company also provides connected fitness subscriptions for multiple household users, and access to all live and on-demand classes among other services. It currently has a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 69.2% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 72.7%.

lululemon athletica inc. LULU, along with its subsidiaries, designs, distributes, and retails athletic apparel and accessories for women, men, and female youth internationally. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 1.2% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 53.4%.

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