In a prior article, I took a look at five companies that will play important roles in today's competitive job market -- specifically those that help the job-seeker get in front of an employer for an interview. In this piece we'll focus on companies that can help you look your best in preparation for the upcoming face-to-face. But most important, these stocks can help your portfolio look spiffy.
Get rid of that skull tattoo on your neck
I once walked into a tattoo parlor with a friend of mine. She asked the owner how much it would cost to get a small tattoo just behind the ear. "What do you do?" he asked. "I'm a waitress," she said. "Do you want to be a waitress for the rest of your life?"
She ended up not getting it.
While tattoos are by no means an indication of one's ability or potential, they certainly have a stigma. In retrospect, what that brief tattoo parlor experience taught me was this: If tattoo artists are telling potential customers to reconsider, removing tattoos could be a very lucrative business. Cynosure (Nasdaq: CYNO) is one of the few companies in this market, and given the ruthlessness of the job market nowadays, it stands to profit, as demand for laser tattoo removal has increased 32% from last year.
Young job-seekers especially may be where the growth lies. 20-to-24-year-olds have a 13.5% unemployment rate, while 22.2% of 18-to-19-year-olds are out of work. Seeing as the 18-to-24-year-old demographic has one of the higher proportions of tattoos at 22%, it stands to reason that tattoo removal may become more and more attractive if you desperately need a job.
On average it takes 10 sessions -- sometimes costing up to $200 apiece -- before a tattoo completely disappears. With this in mind, the tattoo removal market suddenly turns into a multibillion-dollar area in the 18-to-24-year-old market alone. Let's break down exactly how.
Around 6.6 million 18-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. have tattoos. If just a quarter of them decide to get a tattoo removed at some point, that's 1.65 million people paying up to $2,000 each to take their tats off. If we are conservative and assume it costs an average of $1,000, that's already a $1.6 billion industry. Considering that 38% of 30-to-39-year-olds have tattoos as well, we can immediately see that this market has even more potential than we've figured.
Cynosure's sales have been following suit; they were up 50% in the most recent quarter year over year, and the company beat both earnings and revenue estimates, while expanding margins. The company attributed its 92% jump in sales in the second quarter in part to the success of its laser products.
Did I mention that Cynosure is developing a laser treatment system for home use with consumer goods giant Unilever (NYSE: UN)? Talk about a respectable partner; the 85-year-old, $100 billion Unilever owns the Axe, Dove, St. Ives and Vaseline brand names, and has operations on all five major continents. With a 3.5% dividend yield and nearly $50 billion in annual sales, its stock looks like a pretty good investment, too.
But these aren't the only companies that can possibly pad your portfolio and help you to lock down that paycheck. After getting rid of that ill-advised tribal tattoo on your cheekbone, it may be time to start thinking about Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE: NUS). While it's still searching for a verifiable fountain of youth, it does make anti-aging products and revitalizing skin care products. This market is a better way for stockholders to invest in the female contingency of the job-seeking population. Nu Skin has a solid dividend at nearly 2%, and it's been growing at a steady clip -- earnings have risen at an average of 40% per year over the past five years.
Cynosure, Unilever, and Nu Skin all help the job-seeker look his or her best for the interview. They also all provide opportunities for investors to polish up their portfolios. Macro trends, good dividends, and booming profits are a few of the aspects that make these companies in particular stand out.