Nike, the multinational corporation known best for its outstanding sneakers, has been a downward trend in the stock market lately. Nevertheless, it's still over a hundred dollars as of this writing. There's nothing wrong with Nike. It's a reasonably safe bet that whatever temporary trend happens to cause market wobbles, the most popular and widely known shoes in the world aren't going anywhere, and with more people every year, there's a growing market for them. Still, for savvy investors looking to pick up a shoe company or other sportswear stock to help round out a stock portfolio, here are ten stocks to buy that are like Nike but cheaper.
1. Skechers: SKX
As the third-largest footwear company in the US, Skechers is beloved and much sought after. They've been around since the early 90s (1992 specifically), so Skechers is pushing 30, which is a respectable age for a sneaker company. Moreover, the Skechers marketing department is known for its hilarious advertisements that entertain audiences and help drive sales up.
2. Canada Goose Holdings Inc: GOOS
The Goose makes outstanding Parkas and other warm winter wear. However, the last couple of quarters haven't gone so well for Canada Goose Holdings. Does that mean that the goose is flying south? We don't think so. This relatively young company is still finding it's feet whee the market is concerned, and there's plenty of markets left for it to expand into. Customers are just learning to love this luxury brand, and now is the time to pick them up before everyone catches on to their luxury products.
3. VF Corp: VFC
Denver based VFC knows their business. With brands like DIckies nesting under their wing, it's no surprise that buying VF Corp stock is barely less expensive than Nike. However, since many of their brands are iconic and easy to recognize the brand-desirability is high. Most people who work outdoors own a Dickies product, or they want to. The current drive to hire more people with disabilities is also keeping VFC in the news and making their products more desirable.
4. Under Armour Inc Class A: UAA
If you've ever worn UnderArmor in the winter, then you already understand the appeal. It's breathable, yet warm underlayers are a superb way to stay warm when the seasons turn cold. Naturally, that's not all they make, but UA makes a highly popular and very well known product. Brand recognition associated with a feeling of comfort and warmth drives this company, and most of the time, it's a pleasant drive. We think UnderArmor will continue to grow, albeit more slowly than the sneaker giants, if only because it takes longer to wear out an undershirt and they don't go out of style quickly.
5. Foot Locker Inc: FL
As dividend stocks go, Foot Locker is one of our favorites. It always pays to keep an eye on the growth of a dividend stock's company, but this one has held steady around 10% per annum, and they're not paying out more than their making. According to Yahoo finance, it looks like FL management may be investing heavily in the business, which, to our way of thinking is a wise choice for any brick and mortar business that wants to survive the internet era.
6. Columbia Sportswear Company: COLM
Columbia Sportswear is a well known and trusted name in the industry. As of this writing, the stock is cheaper than Nike, but only just. Nevertheless, we think Columbia's high-quality products and popularity with outdoorsmen (and women) all over makes it a solid buy. Typically Columbia hovers a little below Nike in terms of the stock price, but they're well established and trusted. With the current downtrend for Nike, picking up the Swoosh and Columbia is near equal, and it may be cheaper to grab up some Nike if the trend continues. However, Columbia is always a worthy inclusion, and they made the cut for this list by about three dollars.
7. Puma SE/ADR: PUMSY
PUMSY owns and distributes both the Puma and Cobra Golf brand names. Their reach is nearly global with distribution in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. About a quarter of their sales are direct to consumers, but the majority is B2B sales with their distributors.
8. Gildan Activewear Inc: GIL
"We are one of the world's largest vertically integrated manufacturers of apparel and socks."
Gildan's commitment to making their products better extends well beyond what most companies do for their products. From raw materials to finished products, GIL has their hands in every part of the process. Having complete control over your products is one way to make sure you can turn out consistent quality, and Gildan has mass appeal because of its take on the process and the need to control the quality at every turn.
9. Li Ning Co. Ltd: LNNGF
Li Ning is essentially the Nike of China. They're one of the best-known sportswear companies in the country. With more than a billion potential customers at home, plus global distribution, it's no surprise LNNGF is so successful. The company sponsors athletes and athletic teams all over, helping to keep them in the public consciousness through constant exposure. Of all our choices for this list, Li Ning is the one that operates most similarly to Nike, and its reach is growing daily.
10. Iconix Brand Group Inc: ICON
At just 1/50th of the price (as of this writing), Iconix is a great inexpensive stock to invest in if you want to dip a toe into shoes and sporty casual wear without a huge commitment. Though they're technically a brand management company rather than a sportswear company, Iconix works with respected names like Mossimo, Ed Hardy, and Zoo York. Though the Iconix brands are a bit more urban and less purely outdoorsy than most of the options on this list, we can't help but feel that ICON is a solid option for those who want to buy low and hold for a while to make a nice profit.
Nike is the footwear king without a doubt, but for various reasons, not all investors are looking to add the swoosh to their portfolio. Whether it's too rich for your blood, or you simply want more diversity in your stocks, any of these ten companies have a piece of the same (or similar) markets. It's hard to say where the year will take us in terms of stock values, but we see good things and great potential in all of our cheaper-than-Nike picks.
Written by Bill Vix
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