Planet Fitness: Look For Outperform

Planet Fitness, Inc. (PLNT) franchises and operates fitness centers through its subsidiaries. The company's operating segments consists of Franchise, Corporate-owned stores and Equipment. It is engaged in licensing and selling franchises under the Planet Fitness trade name, owning and operating fitness centers under the Planet Fitness trade name and selling fitness-related equipment to franchisee-owned stores. Planet Fitness, Inc. is headquartered in Newington, New Hampshire.

Planet Fitness is one of the nationwide gyms about to enter its busy season, the time of year when so-called "resolutionaries" invade its fitness facilities to work off those holiday pounds and get ready for next Summer's bathing-suit. While those "resolutionaries" are the bane of regular gym-goers everywhere, what will be the effect on the firm's bottom line?

Many hedge funds are betting on the firm, with big players such as Scopus Asset Management, Marshall Wace, Renaissance Technologies, and Daruma Asset Management holding significant stakes in the company. Like many investors, they have a positive view of the company's potential due its long streak--47 consecutive quarters--of positive same-store sales growth.

Other analysts note that while the firm currently has @1600 locations nationwide, it has room to grow. They estimate that the firm could build up to a total of 4000 locations without cannibalizing their market.

Recent earnings results were also good. Back in November, the company reported that system wide same-store sales in Q3 increased 9.7% on top of a 9.3% gain a year ago. Adjusted net income per diluted share grew 47% to $0.28 compared to $0.19 in the prior year period. The chain continued to add new gym members, with 12.2 million members vs 10.5 million for Q3 2017.

At that time, CEO Chris Rondeau noted that

I'm extremely pleased with [Planet Fitness'] consistently strong financial performance today, I'm even more excited about the bright future ahead and the many opportunities for continued growth. Industry trends continue to be positive and more and more people strive to achieve healthier lifestyles. In fact, a recent national study published in October showed that not exercising is riskier to health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease. Heightened awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyle for your physical and emotional health will continue to benefit our industry and we are well positioned to capture additional share of the existing market and attract new market entrants, thanks to our welcoming nonintimidating environment and affordable price point.

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