3 Healthy Stock Choices for the New Year


    According to Merriam-Webster, New Year’s resolutions may have been around since the late 17th century. Scottish writer Anne Halkett’s January 2, 1671, diary entry titled “Resolutions” listing several pledges suggests people have engaged in the tradition for some 350 years.

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    Whether it be eating healthier, joining a gym, or getting financial matters in order, New Year’s resolutions are a popular ritual this time of year. Unfortunately, by mid-January, breaking such pledges is often just as common.

    For investors, the end of the year is a good time to reflect on what went right and what went wrong with an investment strategy. As we take inventory of the year’s biggest successes and failures, here are three health-related stocks to consider for a happy 2022.

    Will Planet Fitness Stock Keep Going Up?

    Based on the hit Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) stock took at the onset of the pandemic, it was hard to fathom a near-term return to pre-pandemic levels. Yet after coming within $0.40 of hitting $100 last month, the gym operator is amazingly looking healthier than ever.

    Thanks to rising membership sign-ups and overseas expansion, Planet Fitness is once again asserting its position as a global fitness center powerhouse. In the process, its financials are in much better shape heading into 2022 when the company is expected to more than double earnings per share (EPS) to $1.65 according to the analyst consensus.

    Of course, Planet Fitness is not out of the woods with plenty of uncertainty swirling around the Omicron spread and the potential for future variants. The fitness market may be forever changed by a home fitness craze that has brought several players new and old into the space.

    Planet Fitness as astutely kept pace with health and wellness trends by launching PF+, a digital only membership alternative complete with daily workouts and classes. The initiative has turned out to be a great primer for in-person memberships with 40% of PF+ members joining Planet Fitness locations last quarter.

    An expanding international footprint and improving digital presence should keep Planet Fitness in good shape next year. The New Year’s resolution crowd will likely ignite the stock’s run to fresh record highs in 2022.

    Is Herbalife Stock Undervalued?

    Herbalife Nutrition (NYSE: HLF) shares are down 15% this year despite earnings per share (EPS) being up 65% over last year when it was difficult if not impossible to reach its target audience. Things have improved since then allowing the Herbalife’s marketing engine to go to work selling nutritional supplements, weight management, and personal care items around world.

    As has become the norm during the pandemic, Herbalife’s distributors are using Zoom to connect with customers. The company is also engaging physicians, fitness experts, and well-known athletes to get the word out about its products. With the health and wellness trend alive and well, Herbalife shouldn’t have a demand problem heading into the new year. Instead, it’s all about the marketing.

    As the company continues to invest in technology and form new partnerships, it has a broader product line-up to offer customers. With the younger generations in mind, it has developed new science-based, nutrient-dense shakes, bars, and supplements to match the active lifestyles of its consumers.  While Herbalife may be most associated with weight management, its biggest growth opportunities lie in targeted and sports nutrition which are a combined $137 billion market.

    At 9x trailing earnings Herbalife is one of the least expensive ways to play the global health and wellness theme. There is no shortage of competition in the space but expanding product assortments and geographies makes Herbalife shares a nutritious resolution for 2022.

    Is Lululemon Still a Good Growth Stock?

    Lululemon (NASDAQ: LULU) is days away from posting its sixth straight year of double-digit returns. There’s good reason to believe that streak will stretch to seven.

    The yoga-inspired athletic apparel maker’s brand is as strong as ever heading into 2022. Accelerated health and wellness trends during Covid have played right into the hands of Lululemon which should continue to benefit from a growing direct-to-consumer business. Since this is the company’s higher margin segment, profitability is expected to be more robust next year. Analysts are forecasting 20% EPS growth which is no small feat in an ultra-competitive athletic apparel space that includes the likes of Nike, Under Armour, and plenty more.

    Long considered a women’s-only brand, Lululemon is also making a name for itself in men’s clothing. The men’s department of the Lululemon website currently features a growing assortment of tops, bottoms, and accessories for the fitness-minded male. Opportunities for international expansion also stand to support growth in 2022 and beyond.

    Lululemon shares aren’t cheap both in terms of price and valuation. But given the proven track record and growth prospects, the yoga-pants specialist looks poised to stretch its healthy return streak to seven years.

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