Columbia Sportswear (COLM)
In business since 1938, Columbia Sportswear (COLM) has become a global brand when it comes to active outdoor apparel and footwear, and a winner among leisure stocks.
In early January, the outdoor apparel company unveiled the Olympic uniforms for the U.S., Canadian and Russian freestyle ski teams. Columbia did such a good job with the Canadian uniforms at the Vancouver games in 2010, it was a natural choice to sponsor the U.S. and Russian teams.
COLM stock had a good year in 2013, up 49.3%, following on a 16.5% gain in 2012. However, its stock has been on a rocky road for some time. In the past decade, COLM stock has underperformed the S&P 500 on six occasions, but when it does beat the index, it tends to do so by a wide margin.
In 2013, COLM stock beat the index by 17 percentage points. Over the long-term, COLM stock has performed admirably, achieving a 15-year annualized total return of 13.9% — almost 10 percentage points higher than the index. As with most good stocks, the longer you hold, the better your return.
I like COLM stock because it seems to be able to deliver profits even when sales are in decline, regardless of the economic climate. That’s rare among leisure stocks. The momentum it gained in 2013 should continue in 2014.