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Down 35% From the Highs, Is This Recent IPO a Buy?

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® and Danny Vena – Dec 5, 2021 at 7:12AM

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This apparel company could have a very bright future ahead of it.

Healthcare apparel company FIGS (FIGS -3.16%) has fallen sharply from its post-IPO highs, but the business seems to be firing on all cylinders. In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Nov. 8, contributors Matt Frankel and Danny Vena discuss FIGS' business and why the stock might be worth a look now. 

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Danny Vena: FIGS is a company that provides scrubs for medical professionals. Now, you'd think scrubs? Why would that be a big deal? It's a big deal because right now there are only a couple of companies out there that supply scrubs to the medical profession and these are big conglomerates that have been doing it for years, so FIGS is the little disruptor.

What FIGS did is they had a couple of folks who said, "Scrubs are baggy, they're boxy, they're uncomfortable, they're not form-fitting, we don't like the material," and they came up with, basically they built a better mousetrap. They created scrubs that were more comfortable, that were more form-fitting that had some color to them, and basically, a cottage industry springs up out of the trunk of somebody's car. They went out to the parking lots. Honestly, this is the origin story which fascinates me. They were selling these things out of the trunk of the car of the two founders, in the parking lots of hospitals and emergency rooms.

The people that buy them, love them. They have something of a cult following that is growing and that's the thing that really, to me, you look at the financials and the financials are fine. But to me, it's the cult following that really piqued my interest. If you look at their second quarter revenue, it was up about 58% year-over-year. Their active customer base grew by 80% and what's interesting is they are edging closer to profitability. Now on an adjusted basis, they're already profitable, but those numbers, I don't like adjusted basis so much.

They're still losing money on a GAAP basis. But the fact is the cult following. The people that do this for a living, the medical professionals really want to wear these and that's the thing that got me most interested and that's why I bought shares relatively soon after the IPO, which is unusual for me.

Matt Frankel: Just speaking to the cult following, my wife is a healthcare professional. She is in charge of an ICU near us. I'm not at home right now, but normally when I am, the desk behind me has a package from FIGS sitting on it. She buys their scrubs very often. Not a week goes by where some piece of clothing from FIGS doesn't show up at our door, so a couple of points.

Healthcare is the largest employment sector in the United States. More employees in healthcare than any other sector. It's the only major type of employment that requires uniforms, where the employees buy their own uniforms. When you think like police officers, firefighters, their uniforms are issued, they're very standardized. Healthcare professionals buy scrubs, they have to buy their own, so that's one thing.

There are other scrub brands, but they're all very commoditized. They're very just generic standard product, somehow more comfortable than others. Some had really cute little brands with them, like one used to be Grey's Anatomy brand to make scrubs. But it's the same product essentially. FIGS is a different product, they want to be comfortable, they want to be fashionable, and think of this as what Nike (NKE 0.05%) and Under Armour (UA 0.50%) (UAA 0.45%) did. They wanted to take things that were historically not very comfortable. There was no such thing as the sweat-wicking gear until Under Armour came along and that's what FIGS wants to do.

They want to transform it, make it more useful and more practical, and more comfortable and there are a lot of adjacent revenue opportunities. Under Armour doesn't just produce those shirts anymore. Nike doesn't just produce athletic footwear anymore. They produce a lot of adjacent accessories that the people who love Nike shoes go and buy. The people who love Under Armour shirts, go and buy these other products. That's what I would say with FIGS in terms of market opportunity, it takes a whole lot for me to get excited about an apparel company.

Danny Vena owns shares of FIGS, Inc. Matthew Frankel, CFP® has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Nike, Under Armour (A Shares), and Under Armour (C Shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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