The pandemic has upended all aspects of life, and the sporting goods space is no exception. In fact, the coronavirus outbreak has altered everything, from self-fitness to sporting events, as gyms, stadiums, stores and yoga centers have been shut since the onset of the pandemic. Numerous sports events, including March Madness, NBA League, NHL League and 2020 Olympics, were either canceled or rescheduled, which hurt revenues at sporting clubs, organizers, sponsors and athletes. This has affected sporting goods companies, which invest hugely to get sponsorships of such events which enhance the brand value and influence revenues. Also, restrictions on going out for walking, jogging or playing sports due to strict coronavirus-led mandates affected revenues.
Nonetheless, the sedentary lifestyle that emerged from the stay-at-home trend forced people to adopt at-home fitness and exercise regimes, which called for investments in sportswear as well as sports gears and equipment. Consequently, there was a rise in demand for athletic apparel and shoes, yoga mats, dumbbells and other gym gears. Also, sales of equipment exercise bikes, weighing machines and personal fitness trackers rose. Sportswear companies benefited from increased subscriptions and engagement on their activity apps as consumers opted to hire expert trainers to stay fit. Moreover, innovation in sportswear, digital devices and fitness apps to meet customers’ requirements is being received well. Furthermore, industry players are likely to gain from stringent focus on boosting e-commerce and digital operations as increased social distancing has taken online shopping to another level amid the pandemic. Also, these companies are working on ways to connect with consumers by enhancing omni-channel capabilities and delivery options. Curbside pick-ups and Buy Online Pick-Up from Store are some of the initiatives that have gained traction in the past few months. Investors may, therefore, consider some sporting goods stocks that promise strong returns in the New Year. 3 Winning Sportswear Stocks DICK’S Sporting Goods Inc. ( DKS Quick Quote DKS - Free Report) , which operates as a major omni-channel sporting goods retailer, is on top of our list. The company offers athletic shoes, apparel, accessories and a broad selection of outdoor and athletic equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, fishing, tennis, golf, water sports, etc. The company continues to make significant investments in e-commerce, technology, Team Sports and private brands. It is also on track to build the best omni-channel experience for athletes by strengthening store network and expanding e-commerce presence.
Favorable customer demand, a solid product portfolio and strength in the online platform have been contributing to the company’s upbeat performance. It has been witnessing significant growth across core categories, including hardlines, apparel and footwear. Notably, the company has been undertaking technology enhancements to provide customers with seamless omni-channel experience. Notably, e-commerce soared 95% in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for the next financial year has gone up 20.7% in the past 60 days. Impressively, the Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company’s shares have rallied 20.9% over the course of a year. You can see
. the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here Next we have athletic-inspired fashion retailer, Hibbett Sports, Inc. ( HIBB Quick Quote HIBB - Free Report) . Its merchandising strategy is to provide high-quality assortment, including footwear, apparel, accessories and athletic equipment at competitive prices in convenient locations. Markedly, the company is gaining from the popularity of its brand line-up. Further, the company is leveraging its omni-channel capabilities such as buy online and pick-up in store, reserve online and pick-up in store, buy online ship to store facility, same-day delivery and mobile app services to fulfill online orders and serve customers. A robust online show amid the pandemic contributed to top-line growth in the last reported quarter. Notably, online sales advanced 50.7% year over year in the quarter. The Zacks Rank #1 stock has gained 68.1% in the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for the next financial year has gone up 14.4% in the past 60 days. Last but not the least, we have Goleta, CA-based Deckers Outdoor Corporation ( DECK Quick Quote DECK - Free Report) , a leading designer, producer, and brand manager of innovative, niche footwear and accessories developed for outdoor sports, and other lifestyle-related activities. The company is constantly developing its e-commerce portal to capture incremental sales. The company has made substantial investments to strengthen its online presence and improve shopping experience for its customers. During the last reported quarter, all of the company’s five brands saw exceptional growth online, thus increasing the mix of direct-to-consumer revenue to 28% this year from 18% in the year-ago period. Total global direct-to-consumer revenues jumped 74.2% backed by robust customer acquisition online and sequential growth in retail performance. The company’s focus on expanding brand assortments, introduction of more innovative lines of products, targeting consumers digitally and optimizing omni-channel distribution, have been contributing to its upbeat performance. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for the next financial year has gone up 14.3% in the past 60 days. The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company’s shares have surged 78.7% in the past year. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2021
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