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Top Picks 2018: Planet Fitness is Seeing Gains

Planet Fitness has nearly 9 million gym members, a number expected to grow rapidly in the years to come.

Image via Peter Hale/Flickr CC

There’s a Wall Street adage that recommends you “buy what you know.” Now, I’m not generally of that opinion, but I am in the case of Planet Fitness Inc. (PLNT), explains Jim Woods, editor of Successful Investing.

You see, I’m a fitness freak, and I’m always in the gym when I’m not behind my trading desk. Moreover, I currently serve as a consultant to a fitness industry startup.

In Planet Fitness, I can combine my penchant for exercise with my love of picking great stocks. The company owns and operates more than 1,300 fitness centers in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Canada. Planet Fitness also has nearly 9 million gym members, a number expected to grow rapidly in the years to come.

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The company’s membership growth in recent years has translated into a three-year earnings per share (EPS) growth rate of some 28%. In 2017, that EPS growth helped propel Planet Fitness shares up more than 70%.

And despite that kind of share price hypertrophy, I’m expected another big year of muscular gains for this fitness industry winner. So, what distinguishes Planet Fitness in the commercial gym space? The company’s low membership fees are perhaps the most attractive aspect of its appeal to customers.

Hey, we all want a clean, well-equipped place to work out, but nobody wants to pay big bucks for a place they generally only visit a few times a week. With an expected earnings growth of some 24% in 2018, shares are poised for another very healthy year.

Jim Woods is editor of Successful Investing.

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