Ever since the death of Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), investors have been weary of wearables stocks. And with good reason.
Fitbit served as lesson for the entire wearables space. Expectations were high that everyone and their best friend was going buy and own a Fitbit. But, that never happened. Instead, the wearables market transitioned from basic activity trackers to advanced smartwatches, and Fitbit got left in the dust.
The takeaway? The wearables market is still young and rapidly evolving to dynamic consumer demands. Thus, finding wearables stocks that are guaranteed long-term winners is a difficult exercise.
That being said, there are a few wearables stocks out there that, given their pedigree, track record, product portfolio, and consumer brand awareness, are on track to be long-term winners in this market.
Here’s a look at four such wearable stocks which could be long-term winners:
Wearables Stocks To Watch: Fossil (FOSL)
First up on this list is a company which has been killed by the smartwatch movement.
Traditional watch giant Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) used to be a $100-plus stock. Then, the smartwatch movement happened. Fossil was slow to catch on. Traditional watch sales kept dropping, and Fossil didn’t have any smartwatch alternatives to fall back on. Consequently, revenues, profits, and FOSL stock all sank.
That is changing now. Fossil has finally made its huge pivot into the smartwatch category, and they are doing so through a unique lens. The company is focusing on creating hybrid smartwatches which combine the traditional design of luxury watches with the utility of smartwatches.
As it turns out, the traditional watch giant knows a thing or two about making classy hybrid smartwatches, and Fossil’s smartwatch business is soaring. Connected watch sales nearly doubled year-over-year last quarter. The robust growth in smartwatches was more than enough to offset the decline in traditional watches, and Fossil brand watch sales inched up 4%. The company has also signed on brands like BMW and Puma.
All this positive momentum implies a bright future for Fossil through smartwatch sales ramp. My best guess is that this company can grow sales around 0-3% per year over the next several years, and that stable top-line growth should allow for operating margins to come back to around 5-10%. Under those assumptions, I see this company netting about $2.90 in earnings per share in 5 years, and that seems like more than enough long-term earnings power to warrant a much higher stock price today than $25.
Wearables Stocks To Watch: Apple (AAPL)
The biggest growth driver at Apple right now is the Services segment. Led by Apple Music, Apple Pay, and the App Store, Apple’s Services segment is growing by more than 30% year-over-year and powering strong headline numbers at Apple.
But, the other big growth driver at Apple is the company’s wearables business. Outside of the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple’s other hardware products grew revenue by nearly 40% last quarter.
The big driver of that 40% growth? Apple’s wearables segment, which comprises Apple Watch, Beats, and Airpods. Revenue from those products jumped 60% higher last quarter. Apple Watch led the way with roughly 45% growth.
Clearly, Apple is becoming much more than just an iPhone company. That is a good thing. Part of that transition away from iPhone reliance is the build-out of this robust wearables business. And the wearable business is more than just the Apple Watch. It includes smart headphones, too.
This business still has a ways to go. In total, “Other Products” revenue was under $4 billion last quarter, versus nearly $30 billion for the iPhone. Thus, one can easily look at Apple Watch, Beats and Airpods as nascent Apple products oozing with big growth potential.
From that perspective, AAPL stock looks pretty cheap here trading at 17.5x forward earnings. If the wearables growth narrative continues to succeed alongside the Services growth narrative, then AAPL stock could head a lot higher.
Wearables Stocks To Watch: Garmin (GRMN)
Like Apple, Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) has been in the headlines recently due to a strong beat-and-raise earnings report.
In its Q2 earnings report, Garmin reported better than expected revenues and earnings, and lifted its full-year guide across all important metrics, including revenue and earnings. The lift also pushed the guide substantially above Street consensus estimates.
Clearly, things are going well over at Garmin. The company’s Fitness segment is doing particularly well, and that is powering healthy high single digit revenue growth thus far in 2018. Meanwhile, gross margins are improving while operating margins are stable, so profit growth is healthy. Overall, the narrative of Garmin being a stable player in the high-growth wearables world remains in-tact.
The one negative thing about GRMN stock is that the valuation looks over-extended here and now.
Over the past several years, revenue growth has run around 3% per year. This year, revenue growth is ahead of that long-term rate. But, over the next several years, top-line growth will moderate back towards the long-term rate of 3%.
Meanwhile, operating margins are having trouble gaining ground here. Over time, stable 3% revenue growth should allow for decent opex leverage, while higher average selling prices should boost gross margins. Thus, I reasonably see operating margins gaining slightly over the next several years.
But, low to mid single digit revenue growth and slight margin expansion just isn’t enough to justify further gains in GRMN stock. At best, I think this company can do $4 in earnings per share in 5 years. A historically-average 18x forward multiple on that implies a four-year forward price target for GRMN of $72, only narrowly higher than today’s $63 price tag.
Consequently, upside in a long-term window looks mitigated.
Wearables Stocks To Watch: Nike (NKE)
Unlike the other wearables stocks on this list, Nike (NYSE:NKE) doesn’t really have a wearable business today.
But, I think that will change in the near future.
Nike is making huge investments into technology. Notably, the company has made two sizable tech acquisitions over the past several months. One acquisition was for a data analytics company. The other acquisition was for a computer vision company.
I think these acquisitions will keep happening over the next several years, and that Nike will eventually utilize these tech acquisitions in combination to launch a big wearables business. Indeed, Nike has already launched connected NBA jerseys, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
In the future, I think Nike will launch a line of smartwatches, connected sports apparel, smart sneakers, connected training material, and more. This new line of products will inevitably provide a healthy lift to sales and profits.
I’m not a big fan of NKE stock here and now. I peg fair value somewhere in the low-to-mid $70’s. But, longer-term, NKE stock has a healthy growth runway through wearables ramp. Thus, sizable dips in NKE stock should be viewed as long-term buying opportunities.
As of this writing, Luke Lango was long FOSL and AAPL.