Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) is disrupting the gym industry with its low-cost membership plans and "judgment-free" atmosphere. The company is enjoying strong increases in membership, revenue, and earnings -- all of which have helped its stock outperform the market by more than 30 percentage points since its IPO in August 2015.
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Yet more important to today's investor is how the stock performs from this point forward. In this regard, here are some of Planet Fitness' biggest opportunities for continued success.
Planet Fitness is the most popular gym in America, with nearly 25% of all foot traffic, according to location intelligence company Foursquare. Yet despite its market dominance, the company is still early into its growth cycle.
Planet Fitness ended the second quarter with 1,403 fitness centers. That's only about a third of a way toward its ultimate goal of 4,000 locations. With the fitness center chain slated to open roughly 200 new gyms per year, this offers the prospect of more than a decade of solid growth still to come.
First-time gym goers
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In addition to growing its store count, Planet Fitness has a tremendous opportunity to increase sales at its existing gyms. And much of this growth will come from people who have never stepped foot in a gym before.
"We believe we are clearly growing the overall market by successfully targeting the approximately 80% of the U.S. population and Canada that currently does not belong to a gym," CEO Chris Rondeau said in Planet Fitness' first-quarter conference call.
To Rondeau's point, approximately 40% of Planet Fitness' new customers are first-time gym goers. The company's welcoming, nonintimidating environment and affordable $10-per-month membership fees are proving popular with the masses. In turn, Planet Fitness has a market opportunity that is larger than perhaps any other fitness concept. That's saying something, considering that the U.S. health club industry served more than 57 million members and generated $27.6 billion in revenue in 2016, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. For a business that just recently surpassed 10 million members, this massive -- and growing -- market should provide fertile ground for Planet Fitness' expansion in the years ahead.
One business' pain is often another's gain. And with much of the traditional retail industry getting slaughtered by the relentless and merciless growth of e-commerce, pain is in high supply these days.
With retailers shuttering thousands of stores, landlords are scrambling to find new tenants. That's a boon for Planet Fitness, which is scooping up vacant commercial real estate space on the cheap. Moreover, the gym chain has become a highly desired tenant due to its strong operational performance.
"One of the benefits we get is we're one of the first ones to get called now, when something becomes available," CFO Dorvin Lively said during the company's second-quarter earnings call.
All told, with its ability to obtain prime real estate on favorable terms, large runways for store count expansion, and popularity with first-time gym users, Planet Fitness has powerful opportunities for growth in the years -- and likely decade -- ahead.
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