By Jeff Reeves, MarketWatch
There’s a lot of attention being paid to Nike, but it’s important to keep some perspective.
Sure, there’s the controversial launch of a Just Do It campaign with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the new face of Nike Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203439053/composite NKE +1.82% . There’s also a bit of volatility in the stock.
But the important thing for investors to remember is the long-term performance of this stock. Nike is up 25% this year and about 135% over five years, driven by consistent growth for one for the most iconic brands on the planet.
After all, sports is big business — and there are no shortage of stocks cashing in on everything from yoga pants to camping gear to swimming pools. And in this era of record consumer confidence in America, there’s no better time for investors to cash in on this mega-trend of leisure spending.
Consider a recent report that determined Americans are spending about $890 billion annually on outdoor sports such as camping and fishing. Or a recent survey that found Americans are spending $155 per month and over $100,000 over a lifetime on fitness-related expenses, such as gym memberships.
For better or worse, Nike is a name most investors already know to play this athletics and leisure trend. But there is a wide world of sports stocks out there offering big growth opportunities.
Here are a few worth noting:
As the name implies, Pool Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200443753/composite POOL -0.40% is in the business of swimming pools. With more than 350 locations, it is the largest wholesale distributor of pools and related outdoor products in the world, with operations in North America, Europe and Australia. It’s also no small-time stock, with a market value of almost $7 billion.
Pool Corp. posted record second-quarter results in July, thanks to a net sales increase of 7% and a gross profit increase also of 7%. Consumer-demand metrics continue to look strong, and as a result, Pool Corp.’s stock is trading at a new 52-week high after an impressive run of almost 65% in the past 12 months.
The company also pays a modest dividend of 1.1% to boot.
Fox Factory Holding
A leader in “ride-dynamics products,” Fox Factory Holding Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208878916/composite FOXF -0.51% designs and manufactures suspension materials for all manner of vehicles, including mountain bikes, snowmobiles, ATVs and even off-road pickups. Anyone who uses these vehicles can tell you the importance of quality shock absorbers and suspensions on rough, backwoods trails — and there’s a good chance they can show you a Fox sticker on their off-road ride, too.
Though admittedly a niche recreational play, Fox is substantial in size, with about 2,000 employees and about $2.5 billion in market value. It’s also growing fast, with current revenue projects for fiscal 2018 up almost 30% over the prior year, owing to a strong brand and strong consumer spending.