Make no mistake about it, regardless of the uncertainty surrounding the global economic situation, people will continue to increase their spending on products that make them look and feel better. Products relating to anti-aging, hair growth and obesity are not only fighting for acceptance, but dominance. Competition has never been greater.
I believe I've identified a few special situations that could lead to some very handsome profits ...
Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) is a network marketing company that sells weight management, nutritional supplement, sports and fitness, energy and personal care products worldwide. Multi-level-marketing companies such as Herbalife have been and always will be subject to greater scrutiny due to the way they market their products. That said, Herbalife's business model has been a stellar success since its inception in 1980 and the company continually makes its critics look foolish. With the stock plunging nearly 40% in a ten day period less than two months ago, management announced a huge buyback that could boost previously raised EPS by as much as .15 for the year. Insiders have been buying the stock and investors get a 2.6% dividend that's been steadily rising.
Divine Skin, Inc. (DSKX) is a new kid on the block that seriously caught my eye after having reviewed their warp-speed revenue growth. This unknown player is the fastest growing hair loss products company and is the only manufacturer of hair growth treatments that operates in the beauty industry, differing from pharmacy brands and generic products. Its products are sold in over 6,000 outlets in the U.S. alone, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue (SKS) and a wide range of salons and spas. The company is also rapidly grabbing market share in Europe, Asia and South America and recently saw their NutraOrigin brand Omega-3 product land valuable shelf space in the stores of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM), the perfect ingredient for rapid recognition. Revenues grew 78% year-over-year in 2011 to $9.7 million and the company projects revenue growth of 55% this year, but more importantly, EPS of .02 and the status of becoming profitable. With hair care products representing over 90% of the company's sales, led by its flagship product, Revita, a hair growth shampoo, this is a name I want to keep a close eye on since I'm very aware of the success of Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Rogaine that was acquired from Pfizer (PFE) back in 2006 for mega bucks. On top of this, Divine Skin just received a license less than two weeks ago from the DEA to begin the manufacturing of OTC pain relievers.
Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NUS) develops and distributes anti-aging personal care products and nutritional supplements worldwide. The company sells its personal care products under the Nu Skin brand and nutritional supplements under the Pharmanex brand. I like this name due to the fact that the stock price experienced a recent unwarranted drop from $60.00 to $40.00, in sympathy with Herbalife's plunge and both in a matter of days, yet the company handily beats analysts estimates quarter after quarter. The high short interest numbers provide a nice catalyst from here heading into Q2 earnings, not to mention there's plenty of upside room in the company's P/E.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. (WTW) offers various services and products that are built upon its weight management plans, including nutritional, exercise, and behavioral tools and approaches. The company also sells a range of products, including bars, snacks, cookbooks, food, and restaurant guides. The stock has been pummeled from its 52-week high near $83.00 earlier in the year down to $48.37 and Q1 results fell slightly short of analysts expectations, although the company actually raised full year EPS guidance in the same Q1 announcement. The stock has also steadily retraced since Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) had the first obesity drug (Lorcaserin) approved in 13 years, but with only a 3% benefit to patients, I look for the approved drug hype to fade going forward. While I usually agree with Jim Cramer's take on stocks, I disagree with his "sell" rating on Weight Watchers. Surely he's beginning to think that Weight Watchers is in oversold territory, but we'll just have to wait and see. There's just no way in my opinion that an obese person who weighed both options would see a greater benefit in using Lorcaserin to alter their personal appearance versus adhering to the Weight Watchers plan. With a current P/E of just 12.5 matched up against analysts expectations for EPS growth of 18% next year, the recent plunge in the stock price is a clear opportunity that will be taken advantage of at some point.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.