Is there a nutritional supplement that fancies breakneck speed? Vitamin retailer GNC has filed to go public over the weekend -- just months after it was acquired for $750 million.
The rushed move to tap the market shouldn't come as a surprise. Companies that provide the means for healthier living have a halo of favorable sentiment at the moment. Rival NBTY
While vitamin chains like NBTY's Vitamin World and GNC's General Nutrition Centers offer a wide gamut of supplements, it is their low-carb products that are carrying the load right now. GNC produced $1.4 billion in revenues last year. While that was flat with the previous year's showing, the trend is unmistakable as comps were down through the first nine months of the year before exploding into double-digit percentage gains in the fourth quarter -- just as the South Beach and Atkins dieting trends that advocate the lower intake of carbohydrates really took off.
It's anyone's guess as to whether this will be a permanent eating lifestyle change, or if it will be just another faddish consumption hiccup. That's why GNC is best served to strike while the iron is hot -- and it is hot.
While traditional supermarket operators like Kroger
So GNC, which will be trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GNC, has every reason to profit from its suddenly popular niche. As far as pills go, this one won't be a bitter one to swallow.
Will you be lining up for the GNC IPO or do you prefer to let the stocks settle into the open market before considering the purchase? Is the market's appetite for new offerings growing or diminishing? How will Google fare in its anxiously awaited deal? All this and more -- in the Initial Public Offerings discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz would go public, but he went to a private school. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.