The sporting goods industry's stock market capitalization has consistently outperformed the general economy in the last five years. As measured by us, it grew by 83.9 percent in 2009, recovering from a 40 percent dip in the previous year. It subsequently rose by 36.2 percent in 2010, by 2.3 percent in 2011 and by 28.8 percent in 2012. And it advanced again in 2013, with a rise of 49 percent across the world.
While the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq recorded increases of 30 and 38 percent, respectively, the 45 American-based public sports companies saw their combined stock market value jump by 53 percent, accounting for 67 percent of the global market value of $300.5 billion.
The 13 European-based sports companies raised their market capitalization by 40 percent, with wide variations in performance from one company to another. Comparatively, the Pan European Stock 600 index went up by 17 percent, with London's FTSE rising by 14 percent and the German DAX by 26 percent
Because of the slowdown in the sports market, Asian sporting goods stocks recorded a combined increase of only 36 percent. The sporting goods sector underperformed the general economy only in Japan, where the Nikkei closed 57 percent higher than at the end of 2012. However, the Chinese Hang Seng was up by only 3 percent.
SGI's stock market capitalization chart (see chart below) calculates the net worth assigned by investors to the publicly listed suppliers, vendors and retailers of sporting goods all over the world, based on the variation in the number of their fully diluted shares and the variation in the stock price between the end of 2012 and the end of 2013. The percentage changes are calculated in local currencies at the conversion rate on those two dates, and they are weighted against those of other companies based on their relative sizes. We have not included Moncler, which has just gone public, but we have included Escalade, which was missing from the chart published in the American edition of SGI.
The bigger companies generally performed best. Nike remained the leader, accounting for 15 percent of the total value of the stocks featured in our chart, and its market capitalization grew by 50.5 percent. The Adidas Group did 37.5 percent better, but it came after VF Corp., which vaulted ahead of Luxottica and Adidas with a gain of 65.0 percent.
Luxottica, which is on our chart as the parent company of Oakley, improved by 33.5 percent. Among the other majors, Lululemon lost 22 percent of its value due to its production problems, and Yue Yuen remained essentially flat. Instead, Under Armour, Shimano and Jarden Corporation outperformed the rest of the sector.
The two major British sporting goods retailers made strong progress on the London Stock Exchange, thanks in part to the demise of JJB Sports: Sports Direct International recorded an increase of 85.0 percent, and JD Sports Fashion did even better, rising by 112.7 percent.
The surfwear industry continues to suffer, but while Billabong International went down by 40.1 percent in value, Quiksilver made a notable recovery with an increase of 109.1 percent. Another company in a recovery mode, Li Ning, posted a 56.6 percent increase in market value, performing better than other Chinese firms such as Stella Holdings, Xstep or Peak Sport. Of all the companies on our chart, Nautilus Group had the most brilliant score for the year, rising by 142 percent, and China's Dephne was the biggest loser, down by 67 percent.
Investors have been accepting higher multiples of profits for any kinds of stocks lately, but sports stocks have been performing generally better than others in this regard, probably reflecting in part expectations for higher profits at companies such as Nike and Adidas in the current World Cup year. Looking at these and some 50 other companies on our list, including one or two that may benefit from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, their profits went up by only 11 percent overall during the past calendar year.
Looking at the three major product categories for these 50-odd stocks; sports apparel and equipment companies performed the best on stock exchanges in 2013, but market capitalization trailed behind profit improvement for the companies that focus on equipment. While their profits went up by 66 percent overall, the equipment specialists' value on the stock market appreciated by only 50 percent. The market caps went up by 71 percent for apparel-centric companies, compared with an increase of 44 percent in profits. Sports shoe specialists commanded a 42 percent increase in market value in spite of profits that were only 2 percent higher than in 2012.
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