Canada’s apparel scene has been an incredible place to invest over the past decade, with the likes of Vancouver-based athleisure and yoga wear king Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) continuing to gain for investors. Meanwhile, there have been other intriguing clothing plays rich with value and long-term potential. Gildan Activewear (TSX:GIL) may be less growthy and exciting than Lululemon, but if you’re a value investor, I view the play as nothing short of a bargain at current levels.
So, whether you’re looking for a deeper value play or seek a robust brand alongside a promising growth narrative, look no further than the following plays going into the Spring of 2024. As the Canadian and U.S. economies test (and hopefully avoid) an economic recession, there’s no telling how much the following clothing plays could bounce. Either way, I view both as worthy of a watchlist as they look to build some strength in this new year.
Lululemon is a Canadian company that, unfortunately, doesn’t trade on the TSX Index. To gain exposure to the Vancouver-based yoga wear maker, you’ll need to venture south of the border and buy off the Nasdaq exchange. Though the currency conversion may be less than ideal, I think it’s worthwhile to make the swap as Lululemon looks to add to the gains it posted in 2023.
The company is an anomaly in that it was able to surge higher last year as other apparel plays sunk in the face of bruised consumers. Undoubtedly, yoga wear is not a must-buy when the going gets tough. Still, you wouldn’t be able to tell the consumer is challenged by having a glance at shares of Lululemon, which made new all-time highs above $500 per share before recently pulling back to around $474 and change.
I think the pullback is a great buying opportunity for investors who love the brand and think it can add to its strengths once the consumer becomes even more willing to loosen the purse strings. If Lululemon can post impressive sales in a turbulent economy, just think of what it’ll be able to do when the bull market (and consumer sentiment) gets running at full speed.
Is LULU still an expensive stock? At 60.3 times trailing price to earnings (P/E), it’s no bargain. However, you’ve got to pay a premium for a leading brand that’s demonstrated resilience amid even the most turbulent of macro environments. I’d argue that Lululemon is a wonderful company worth paying up for, especially in a mixed environment.
If value is what you seek, perhaps Gildan Activewear is the better buy right here. At $43.50 per share, the stock trades at just 12.3 times trailing P/E to go with a 2.3% dividend yield. The company makes essential clothing products that really never go out of style! The firm recently made headlines for activist investor involvement. Indeed, there’s a bit of drama in the boardroom over at Gildan.
After dragging its feet for the past five years (shares down 1% over the span), I’d argue activism may just be able to help spark renewed interest in the long-time value play.
Personally, I view shares as deeply undervalued but rather untimely. So, unless you’re committed for the long haul, shares may not be your cup of tea, at least compared to the likes of Lululemon.
Better buy: LULU stock vs. GIL shares
As it stands, I like LULU stock more for 2024 and beyond. It has to be one of my top picks in the apparel scene after last year’s impressive results.