In a recent episode of The Rank on Fool Live, three of our experts ranked seven popular fitness stocks. In this clip, recorded on June 4, chief growth officer Anand Chokkavelu explains why he ranked Nautilus (NYSE:NLS) No. 1. 

Anand Chokkavelu: The brands Nautilus owns, you know the Nautilus brand probably, it also owns Bowflex and Schwinn. Let's put it in context. In 2019, Nautilus' sales fell 22% and it was unprofitable. In 2020, Nautilus' sales jumped 79% and it got very profitable. That's what happens when a pandemic suddenly makes a home gym sounds really good.

A lot of people were probably like my family. A Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON) was too expensive, but we didn't want a cheap bike that would break down in a few months, so we bought a Bowflex. My wife uses that Bowflex and the $13 a month Peloton digital subscription versus Nautilus' no-vowels subscription, which is JRNY J-R-N-Y, which it's trying to tout that Peloton's done so well. The question for Nautilus is, whether it can maintain this momentum that 79% growth or whether it's just a pandemic phenomenon and it's going to sink back into negative sales growth again.

The knock on Nautilus is that even though it was around well before Peloton, founded in 1986 versus 2012 for Peloton, Peloton has absolutely eaten its lunch. Peloton's explosive growth has it already five times the sales of Nautilus. Back in 2018, they were around the same size. That is crazy amounts of growth for Peloton, and maybe doesn't speak so well of Nautilus.

But here's the thing, the way Nautilus is priced right now, it can simply be a barnacle on the speed boat that is Peloton, and it can do well for investors. If the marketing materials they send to my house or any indication, they're really upping their game as a Peloton clone. As their 2026 goals that I made mention of earlier, they seem reasonable. They equate to just 10% annual top-line growth to get to that $1 billion in sales. Now, maybe that's underwhelming for a lot of us, we're talking about how growth is really enticing.

But this is a company that we're worried about post pandemic. Having a reasonable growth after 79% growth, going to just 10% growth annually over the longer term or a five-year period feels all right, and check out the price tag. It's a market cap of just $518 million, $70 million in net cash, and a P/E ratio of six. Not price-to-sales, price-to-earnings of six. That's pretty enticing. At least it was for me. I've got them ranked a lot higher than everyone else. I had it as my No. 1 stock actually, which surprised the heck out of me since I own three of these stocks.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.