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3 Sector Stars Lead Growth: Foot Locker, Shake Shack, Hims & Hers

Foot Locker store front logo

Key Points

  • After drawing in more jobs than expected, these industries got a good chunk out of the economy's hiring spree.
  • Three stocks stand out in terms of how analysts expect them to grow their EPS, with double-digit upside in their valuations. 
  • These projections support the possibility of hiring sprees and suggest higher demand ahead. 
  • 5 stocks we like better than Chipotle Mexican Grill

One of the market's most closely watched economic reports made a sudden turn last week. The employment situation report (NFP) showed that the U.S. economy is still resiliently adding jobs despite seeing some contradicting indicators placing a ceiling on its growth.

Investors would be wise to follow the industries that helped the economy cough up these many jobs, as hiring sprees can signal more business shortly. Within these industries, analysts are sure to add their future predictions to the hottest stocks through price targets and earnings per share (EPS) projections, factors that are just as important for those looking for opportunities.

To fit this list, the retail sector, restaurants and eating places, and healthcare were a few of the hottest sectors, adding the most jobs (relative to the entire NFP). Within these industries, analysts have chosen stocks like Foot Locker Inc. NYSE: FL, Shake Shack Inc. NYSE: SHAK, and even Hims & Hers Health Inc. NYSE: HIMS to be top priorities when it comes to growth.

Why the Latest Jobs Report is Driving a Major Sector Breakout

The most recent ISM manufacturing PMI index report shows that jobs keep the manufacturing sector alive. While a slower GDP growth rate, revised to 1.3% in the past quarter, may keep growth stagnant across the market, this sector keeps looking forward to better days ahead.

Employment data shows the economy increased to 272,000 jobs in May, a significant increase from April’s 175,000. Here’s where the bulk of employment went to.

Retail trade hired up to 12,600 employees, where Foot Locker shines. Food services (Shake Shack’s kingdom) saw up to 25,300 jobs added during the month. Finally, in the healthcare sector, where Hims & Hers stock is making a splash, as many as 68,300 people were hired.

These industries represent the contrarian breakout play inside a slowing economy, and analysts liked these stocks the most.

Foot Locker Stock's Growth is Fueling the Retail Sector's Breakout

Foot Locker Today

Foot Locker, Inc. stock logo
FLFL 90-day performance
Foot Locker
-0.45 (-1.79%)
(As of 07/12/2024 ET)
52-Week Range
Price Target

At least, that's what Wall Street analysts think. Today, there is an EPS growth projection of up to 40% in the next 12 months, beating peers like Nike Inc. NYSE: NKE and its 5.9% projection. This could be one of the reasons why analysts decided to boost their valuations on Foot Locker stock.

Those at TD Securities saw it fit to slap a $43 price target on Foot Locker, daring the stock to rally by 67.3% from where it trades today. As the hiring sprees fell to the retail sector, Foot Locker’s outlook could reflect the company taking a good chunk out of this employment flow.

More than that, in preparation for this potential demand surge, bearish traders have abandoned the stock. Foot Locker’s short interest collapsed by over 15% in the past month, leaving bulls more room to potentially ride the stock higher than analyst projections.

Shake Shack Stock: Financial Strength Draws Talent and Investors Alike

Shake Shack Today

Shake Shack Inc. stock logo
SHAKSHAK 90-day performance
Shake Shack
+0.28 (+0.33%)
(As of 07/12/2024 ET)
52-Week Range
P/E Ratio
Price Target

Despite being a fraction of the size Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. NYSE: CMG has achieved, Shake Shack stock shares a near financial similarity to its much bigger peer.

Looking over the company’s financials will reveal a gross margin rate of 37%, which compares to Chipotle’s 40.8%. This profitability allows management to pay a higher wage to draw in employees when labor shortages can affect restaurant stocks the most.

It may be because of this that TD Cowen boosted their valuations for Shake Shack stock up to $125 a share. To prove these valuations right, the stock must rally by 35.6% from where it sits today. More than that, these analysts expect to see 39.2% EPS growth this year to back up these valuations.

Just like Foot Locker, a hiring spree in the food industry may have scared off short sellers, judging by the stock’s short interest decline of 6.7% in the past month.

Splash in Healthcare: Hims & Hers Stock's Remarkable Growth Journey

Hims & Hers Health Today

Hims & Hers Health, Inc. stock logo
HIMSHIMS 90-day performance
Hims & Hers Health
+0.66 (+3.14%)
(As of 07/12/2024 ET)
52-Week Range
Price Target

Disrupting the healthcare industry by adding technology, Hims & Hers stock’s ability to achieve economies of scale and technological efficiencies has allowed for double-digit user growth for the past few quarters, and analysts have noticed.

Those at Canaccord Genuity Group think that the stock could be worth up to $24 a share, implying a ceiling that is 15.3% higher than where it trades today.

More than that, the Vanguard Group (Hims & Hers stock’s largest shareholder) saw it fit to boost its already sizeable stake in the stock by as much as 1%, bringing its net investment up to $221.4 million today.

Considering that the stock is already flirting with new all-time highs, further growth will require a decent chunk of the jobs that went to healthcare to help the company achieve its potential.

Over the past quarter, the company announced up to 41% subscriber growth, a trend that is helping Wall Street's valuations higher and is not expected to stop any time soon.

Should you invest $1,000 in Chipotle Mexican Grill right now?

Before you consider Chipotle Mexican Grill, you'll want to hear this.

MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Chipotle Mexican Grill wasn't on the list.

While Chipotle Mexican Grill currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

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Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli
About The Author

Gabriel Osorio-Mazilli

Contributing Author

Value Stocks, Asian Markets, Macro Economics

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Companies Mentioned in This Article

CompanyMarketRank™Current PricePrice ChangeDividend YieldP/E RatioConsensus RatingConsensus Price Target
Hims & Hers Health (HIMS)
2.4453 of 5 stars
2.45 / 5 stars
$21.71+3.1%N/A-2,171.00Moderate Buy$18.36
Foot Locker (FL)
3.0161 of 5 stars
3.02 / 5 stars
Shake Shack (SHAK)
3.5029 of 5 stars
3.50 / 5 stars
4.965 of 5 stars
4.97 / 5 stars
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG)
4.9351 of 5 stars
4.94 / 5 stars
$57.66+0.2%N/A61.52Moderate Buy$175.30
Compare These Stocks  Add These Stocks to My Watchlist 

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