Will the Olympic games in Beijing (starting tonight on NBC) provide a boost to apparel companies Nike and Polo Ralph Lauren, which are both official sponsors?
Olympic apparel providers Nike and Ralph Lauren are both poised to rise as the Olympics begin. According to Bloomberg, Nike shares have risen during each of the six summer games going back to 1984. Nike is creating new products for all 28 Olympic sports. Meanwhile, Polo Ralph Lauren is the official outfitter for the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. Polo Ralph Lauren's reported earnings earlier this week beat street estimates.
Karabell calls it a "gimmicky trade" but both companies do have strong fundamentals and are doing well with inventory control and containing costs globally. Those are more reason for him to look at these stocks than "17 days of hoopla in Beijing."
Karen also slightly downplays the potential marketing boost of the Olympics and refers to one of yesterday's Pops: JC Penney -- a portion of the department store's good sales numbers can be attributed to Ralph Lauren Polo apparel.
Macke: "Any excuse is a good excuse to buy Nike... a great consumer brand... [it's] an extraordinarily run company." Polo Ralph Lauren, however, is more reliant on fashion cycles, which Nike manages to avoid.
Karabell calls Polo Ralph Lauren a company that brands itself globally as a luxury, aspirational brand -- with measurable success in overseas markets like Russia and China. Karabell then officially discloses that he owns no Ralph Lauren stock -- but is wearing a shirt of that brand.
Adami points out Nike hasn't had all good times. Its inventory build "killed people" in the last quarter, but it's worth a look because of its nice double bottom.
Bottom Line: Whether the Games in China provide a substantial boost or not, both Nike and Polo Ralph Lauren are companies of value and good stock to own.