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It's Time to Get Back on Your Peloton...Stock

By Rick Munarriz - Mar 8, 2021 at 11:15AM

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The fast-growing maker of high-end stationary bikes has plummeted nearly 40% since peaking two months ago. It's time to take the stock out for a spin.

Owning Peloton Interactive (PTON 16.52%) stock is a lot like having one of its signature treadmills or stationary bikes in your home these days. In either case, you're probably working up a sweat and losing some serious weight.

The actual pounds that you've been shedding through Peloton sessions will vary by the intensity of your reps and your lifestyle calls between the workouts, but the math on the weight loss is a little more clear for Peloton investors. The stock begins this new week trading 39% below the all-time high it hit just two months ago. It's rough -- and the beads of sweat understandable -- but at least one Wall Street pro thinks that better days are ahead for Peloton stock.

Rohit Kulkarni at MKM Partners is upgrading shares of Peloton from neutral to buy. He's sticking with his earlier $130 price target, but after the swift sell-off since mid-January, that goal now represents 24% of near-term upside.

A couple taking turns on a Peloton bike.

Image source: Peloton Interactive.

It will all work out

MKM Partners' Kulkarni feels that recent investments in Peloton's supply chain -- namely its $420 million acquisition of global fitness gear manufacturer Precor -- will help drive positive results. Precor will help beef up its manufacturing capacity to keep up with the still-scintillating demand for Peloton bikes. Precor will also give Peloton a stronger presence in the commercial market (namely the hotels, gyms, and businesses with corporate wellness programs) that is still virgin soil for Peloton's growth potential.

Kulkarni is also encouraged that the number of customer complaints on the Better Business Bureau website has dropped sharply lately. With user engagement and satisfaction on the rise and some near-term growth catalysts in the pipeline, it's an easy upgrade for a company that isn't going to just go away now that we have three viable COVID-19 vaccines giving homebodies a literal and figurative shot in the arm.

It's true that the next new normal will bring a lot of people back to the fitness center and spinning class boutique studio. However, the pandemic has also reshaped the consumer mindset into favoring high-tech convenience over time-consuming public outings.

Peloton is certainly not having a problem growing right now. It begins the 2021 calendar year with 1.67 million connected fitness members, 134% more than were working out a year earlier. The digital subscriptions it offers fitness seekers who don't own Peloton gear are growing even faster. Peloton's revenue soared 139% in 2020, with triple-digit top-line growth in the past three quarters.

Peloton might have been a niche player when it went public at $29 in the fall of 2019, but it's now a ubiquitous juggernaut cranking out more than $1 billion in revenue every quarter. The way we stay in shape has been disrupted, and there's no going back at this point. Even now -- with nearly a quarter of the country's adult population at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 -- the order backlog for a new Peloton is still several weeks.

Churn remains low. Workout sessions per account remain high. The Precor deal and the move to lower the price of its stationary bike and introduce a cheaper treadmill will broaden its addressable market through pricing tiers. Peloton stock has been beaten down these past two months, but it's still a winner for long-term shareholders. Investing in IPOs is risky, but Peloton has more than tripled since its late-2019 debut. The last few weeks might have been a good time to stop and catch your breath, but it's time to start pedaling again. Peloton is in prime position to bounce back now.

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