Powerball Lottery: 6 Publicly Traded American Companies You Could Buy if You Won

Jacob Harper  |

On August 1 the Powerball jackpot hit $290 million. The lucky winner could buy a lot of things with that money: they could go to Harvard for 5,507 years, for instance.

Or, they could buy one thing: a major publicly traded company. We decided to look at a few of the more famous ones, and delve into whether or not they’d be a sound investment with the lucky winner’s (pre-tax) lotto winnings:

American Apparel Inc. (APP)

Market Cap: $214.45 million

The fashion-forward clothier is famous for their provocative advertising, unusual lines, and the sexual harassment allegations routinely levied against their flamboyant CEO Dov Charney. What a potential buyer should be most aware of is the company’s debt and lack of free cash flow.

The company also hasn’t turned a profit in four years, leading many investors to remain bearish on the stock. But the company does have positive metrics that lead some to take a more positive outlook. The company maintains a well developed social media presence, and same-store sales (a common metric for evaluating a retail store’s health) grew 5 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

American Apparel is down exactly 1 percent to hit $1.99 a share. The company went public in 2006 in an unusual manner: they sold out to a shell company in a reverse merger.

Build-a-Bear Workshop Inc. (BBW)

Market Cap: $120.66 million

This St. Louis, Mo.-headquartered retailer has a frankly unique business model: people can customize their own stuffed animals. While that approach might seem overly niche, Build-a-Bear has exploded in a very short amount of time, expanding from one store at the St. Louis Galleria mall in 1997 to 135 outlets by the time the company went public in 2004, to over 400 today.

The company hasn’t enjoyed uninterrupted growth, however. Following their IPO at $20 a share, the company was hit hard by the Great Recession, as consumers quit buying decorative toys to conserve money.

As the economy has rebounded, so has Build-a-Bear. The company is up 3.38 percent to hit $7.33 a share. The company is up a whopping 74.26 percent on the year.   

Craft Brew Aliiance Inc.  (BREW)

Market Cap: $181.17 million

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As their name implies, Craft Brew specializes in craft brewing, specifically esoteric, more aggressive tasting beers like India Pale Ales under the Red Hook, Widmer Brothers, Kona Mission, and Omission brands. The company had their IPO in 1995 under the ticker HOOK before changing to the surprisingly unclaimed BREW. The company went public in 1995, and while they are way down from since the 90s (when they traded north of $30 a share) they have recovered steadily since 2008, when they got as low as $1.20 a share.

Craft Brew Alliance is up 6.44 percent to hit $9.58 a share.

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. (BAGL)

Market Cap: $280.21 million

Einstein is the brainchild of Boston Market, who were seeking to capitalize on the breakfast market (in addition to their established cafeteria brand. The brand was formed by consolidating four smaller  companies. Noah’s Bagels from Berkeley, Ca, Chesapeake Bagel, New World Coffee, and Manhattan Bagels.

The company had their IPO at $18 a share in 2007, and went as low as $5 a share during the Great Recession befor4e rebounding. Einstein markets themselves as “quick-casual,” aligning themselves with the popular “fast-casual” restaurant market segment.

On Aug. 1 the company announced they would pay out a cash dividend of .125 per share on October 15 to stockholders of record on September 3, spurring investment.

Einstein is up .49 percent to hit $16.14 a share. They’re up 28.71 percent on the year.

Jamba, Inc. (JMBA)

Market Cap:239.22 million

The Jamba Juice Company started in San Luis Obispo in 1990 and has since expanded to over 7690 locations. The company sells juice concoctions and smoothies out of kiosks scattered throughout the country, thought the majority of their stores are still in California. The company began branching out their menu in late 2008 and began offering food in the “fast-casual” model to supplement their juice business.

Like American Apparel, Jamba Juice went public via reverse merger, albeit a year earlier. And also like American Apparel, their stock is way down since then. Jamba Juice got as high as $61.25 a share in May 2006. They’re worth less than a quarter of that now.

Jamba is recovering, though. The stock is up 1.30 percent to hit $14.82 a share. They’re up 24.51 percent on the year.

Nathan’s Famous, Inc. (NATH)

Market Cap: $250.22 million

This hot dog company is famous for their franks, and slightly less so for their popular mustard. But what has really put this x-based chain on the map is the annual Nathan’s Famous July 4 hot-dog eating contest at Coney Island, and the emergence of competitive eating as a “sport” with household names like Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi.

 The latter has been a thorn in the side of Nathan’s – once the undisputed face of Nathan’s, Kobayashi left the brand in 2009 after refusing to sign an exclusivity agreement. After he left the contest, several prominent sponsors of the contest pulled out. The contest used to draw almost 2 million viewers a year, and was a huge publicity boon to the company. The contest now only averages around 1.2 million viewers.

Nathan’s stock is up .52 percent to hit $57.56 a share. In July the stock hit its all-time high of $62.35 a share.


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