Lifetime Fitness (LTM)
In the case of the gym wars, there are only two publicly traded names: Lifetime Fitness (LTM) and Town Sports International (CLUB). The former operates luxury exercise facilities whereas the latter runs New York Sports Club, Boston Sports Club, etc. Obviously, you should not own both of these stocks. Why you should own Lifetime Fitness is as simple as a doing a bench press (okay fine, maybe with just the bar). The customer base is more affluent (and loyal), they are having broad success in ancillary revenue streams such as personal training and swanky cafés, where you can snag a low-carb shake post-workout. Lifetime gyms also organizes community sporting events, which is great for marketing and brand loyalty. And most importantly for your portfolio’s sake, Lifetime Fitness is putting up better financial results.
Foot Locker (FL)
The obvious choice to invest in the Olympics is Nike (NKE). Its stuff is everywhere thanks to a mega marketing budget for the games (and more sporting events, for that matter). However, in investing, choosing the most obvious in anything is often a recipe for portfolio pain. Nike’s financial results have flat out stunk in the past year, and the stock market has voted with giant-sized thumbs down. So how to play the footwear craze more broadly? Try on Foot Locker! The sports chain is producing stronger same-store sales than its main competitor Finish Line (FINL), and it also has better financials. Inventories are actually down year over year causing scarcity in the marketplace, whereas Finish Line’s are up about 14%, and merchandise margins are rising, while Finish Line’s are not. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.
Entertainment Arts (EA)
Wanna be an Olympian…from the comfort of your own home? Well, you can do that with Electronic Arts’ “EA Sports Active” console title on multiple platforms. Here’s the fun thing, though…Electronic Arts does a ton more stuff besides helping you to get back into good shape. With the stock trading on a very non-tech-like valuation (basically, tech companies command higher valuations by investors because the companies grow profit so darn quickly), cash rich balance sheet in toe, two years of restructuring under its belt (they fired people to save costs), and stable of brands being morphed into gaming universes (think Madden on the iPhone), there are reasons to make this your Olympic stock as well.