Whether you’re attached, single, or in a more complicated relationship, you can still treat yourself on Valentine’s Day. But, I’m not talking about chocolate or cards. As investors, this is a great time to scoop up high-quality consumer-driven stocks.
The Commerce Department has just announced retail sales advanced again in January, and core sales (a better indicator of consumer sentiment), rose more than expected. Consumers are stepping up their spending habits, and you can bet a number of them will get roped into buying goodies for their significant others today. In fact, it is estimated consumers will spend almost $20 billion this year on the holiday, according to IBISWorld. So, let’s take advantage of the love in the air with a number of holiday-appropriate stocks I’d recommend in a heartbeat.
The Matchmaker Stock: InterActiveCorp
With over 275 million unique visitors to its 50 websites, InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) is one of the biggest players on the web hardly anyone has ever heard of. However, chances are you’re familiar with some of its online dating sites, including subscriber-only Match.com and free dating service OKCupid. These sites are regulars on Forbes’ and Time Magazine’s top online dating sites lists, and have tens of millions of members.
In addition to its larger dating sites, InterActiveCorp also manages several smaller services targeted to more specific demographics, including SingleParentMeet.com and SeniorPeopleMeet.com. In total, IAC oversees 6 of the top 50 ranked personal websites.
And, with its Urbanspoon service, IAC even gets a piece of the action behind the dates themselves. Urbanspoon is a restaurant guide that services over 90 major markets — including most U.S. cities and London. The app consolidates reviews from local newspapers, blogs and other diners and allows users to vote on their restaurants. Urbanspoon also offers restaurants an online reservation widget they can install on their own websites.