Based on recent trends ranging from congested supply chains to sold-out gear to crowded trails, it’s clear that Covid has fueled consumer demand for outdoor apparel and gear. But a different metric also points to the industry’s prosperity during the pandemic: soaring stock prices.
Investors are betting big on the companies that make and sell clothing and equipment needed for outdoor adventures by pouring money into these businesses and driving up their value.
To better understand this market dynamic and what it means for the industry, Outside Business Journal has created the OBJ Outdoor Index, a custom financial chart that tracks the stock performance of 25 publicly traded companies with one or more outdoor brands in their portfolios.
Why we need an Outdoor Index
Why, you might ask, should anyone who works for a privately held or private equity-backed outdoor brand, retailer, nonprofit, or association care about the stock prices of the industry’s public companies? Simple curiosity is one reason. But digging into whether and how much companies’ shares gained or lost value over time also offers a snapshot of these bigger players individually and, by extension, the health of the overall industry.
The OBJ Outdoor Index provides a benchmark for brands that make similar products and sell into similar channels as the companies on the list. The Index also reveals the investment community’s outlook for this space—and the most recent data indicates that Wall Street is bullish on outdoor companies, which have recently outperformed other sectors by a wide margin.
In the calendar first quarter of this year (January 1 to March 31), the companies of the OBJ Outdoor Index saw shares grow, on average, 15.8 percent. That mark easily topped other indices, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average (7.8 percent), the S&P 500 (5.8 percent), and the Nasdaq (2.8 percent) during the same three-month window.
Of the 25 public companies that OBJ tracked, only three—Adidas AG, Helen of Troy Ltd. (parent of Hydro Flask), and VF Corporation—saw their shares decline in the quarter. Many saw double-digit increases, while a few reached 30 percent and one (GoPro) even notched 40 percent growth.
These five companies saw the largest share gains in the first quarter:
- GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO): +40.6%
- Camping World Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CWH): +39.7%
- Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS): +35.5%
- Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO): +35%
- Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GOOS): +31.8%
Of course, the stock performance of an individual corporation—or an index of companies—doesn’t mean brands in similar outdoor categories are performing as well or as poorly. It’s not a true apples-to-apples comparison. And stock prices aren’t the be-all, end-all of a company’s current picture. But these trends do help measure the industry’s success relative to its recent past and as a comparison with other sectors.
Looking ahead for outdoor brands
Current evidence suggests these Covid-induced boom times could continue. For one, skyrocketing demand has resulted in brands struggling to get product delivered to their warehouses and retail partners amid an ongoing supply chain slowdown. With orders flooding in and manufacturers working feverishly to fill them, any easing of congestion should improve the flow of goods.
Also, an examination of the latest participation report from Outdoor Industry Association shows that more people from varying backgrounds and demographics have been getting outside and plan to continue their outdoor activities post-pandemic. That bodes well for the industry’s staying power.
The question now: Will the pursuit of outdoor activities and concurrent upward sales trajectory continue at this current frenzied pace?
“There is some concern that outdoor activities will taper as life returns to normal,” said Maez, who noted that “about 25 percent [of new participants] say that travel, resuming other activities, and family demands will challenge their free time and ability to continue to recreate as they currently do” once the pandemic is over.
The indication from Wall Street, however, is that outdoor brands remain a solid bet.
OBJ Outdoor Index primer
Below is the inaugural OBJ Outdoor Index, which shows how 25 public corporations—mostly parent companies of outdoor brands, with a couple of retailers and a ski resort operator included as well—performed in the first quarter. Listed below are the companies’ share prices on the last day of the previous quarter (Q4 2020), share price on the last day of the just-completed quarter (Q1 2021), percent change in that period, and market cap (equal to share price times the total number of shares outstanding).
Foreign companies’ shares are presented here in U.S. dollars and designated as OTC (over-the-counter) securities since they aren’t listed on U.S. stock exchanges.
Below the stock chart is a capsule on each of the 25 companies that comprise the OBJ Outdoor Index, including headquarters locations, connections to the outdoor industry (if not immediately obvious), and key executives.
This Index is a living document. We’ll update the chart as needed (at least when a quarter ends, if not more frequently), we’ll update capsules based on organizational changes made, and we’ll add or remove companies based on mergers and acquisitions, newly available trading information, IPOs, and other relevant developments.
For more coverage of these companies—including breakouts of brand performance, where available—check out our quarterly financial recaps, which provide relevant details about outdoor public companies’ most recent earnings reports, including revenue and net income. Click here for part one of Q4 2020 summaries, and here for part two.
OBJ Outdoor Index: Q1 2021
|Company||Ticker||Share Price 12/31/20||Share Price
|Adidas AG||(OTC: ADDYY)||$182.99||$157.01||-14.2%||$61.9B|
|ANTA Sports Products Ltd.||(OTC: ANPDY)||$391.14||$412.83||+5.5%||$45.4B|
|Callaway Golf Co.||(NYSE: ELY)||$24.01||$26.75||+11.4%||$4.9B|
|Camping World Holdings Inc.||(NYSE: CWH)||$26.05||$36.38||+39.7%||$3.2B|
|Canada Goose Holdings Inc.||(NYSE: GOOS)||$29.77||$39.25||+31.8%||$4.3B|
|Canadian Tire Corp.||(OTC: CDNAF)||$131.85||$142.36||+8%||$8.8B|
|Clarus Corp.||(Nasdaq: CLAR)||$15.40||$17.05||+10.7%||$533.7M|
|Columbia Sportswear Co.||(Nasdaq: COLM)||$87.38||$105.63||+20.9%||$7B|
|Compass Diversified||(NYSE: CODI)||$19.45||$23.15||+19%||$1.5B|
|Deckers Outdoor Corp.||(NYSE: DECK)||$286.78||$330.42||+15.2%||$9.3B|
|Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc.||(NYSE: DKS)||$56.21||$76.15||+35.5%||$6.8B|
|Emerald Holding Inc.||(NYSE: EEX)||$5.42||$5.52||+1.8%||$399.5M|
|Fenix Outdoor International AG||(OTC: FNXTF)||$109.20||$141.99||+30%||$1.8B|
|Garmin Ltd.||(Nasdaq: GRMN)||$119.66||$131.85||+10.2%||$25.3B|
|GoPro Inc.||(Nasdaq: GPRO)||$8.28||$11.64||+40.6%||$1.8B|
|Helen of Troy Ltd.||(Nasdaq: HELE)||$222.19||$210.66||-5.2||$5.1B|
|Johnson Outdoors Inc.||(Nasdaq: JOUT)||$112.63||$142.75||+26.7%||$1.4B|
|Newell Brands Inc.||(Nasdaq: NWL)||$21.23||$26.78||+26.1%||$11.4B|
|Samsonite International SA||(OTC: SMSEY)||$8.82||$9.72||+10.2%||$2.7B|
|Thule Group AB||(OTC: THUPY)||$19.80||$21.81||+10.2%||$4.5B|
|Vail Resorts Inc.||(NYSE: MTN)||$278.96||$291.66||+4.6%||$11.8B|
|VF Corp.||(NYSE: VFC)||$85.41||$79.92||-6.4%||$31.3B|
|Vista Outdoor Inc.||(NYSE: VSTO)||$23.76||$32.07||+35%||$1.9B|
|Wolverine World Wide Inc.||(NYSE: WWW)||$31.25||$38.32||+22.6%||$3.2B|
|Yeti Holdings Inc.||(NYSE: YETI)||$68.47||$72.21||+5.5%||$6.3B|
OBJ Outdoor Index: Company Guide
Adidas AG (OTC: ADDYY)
- Headquarters: Herzogenaurach, Germany (U.S. operation is based in Portland, Oregon)
- Outdoor connection: While Adidas might be known for its athletic apparel, the company also possesses some core outdoor DNA through its Portland, Oregon-based Adidas Terrex and Five Ten brands.
- Key executives: Michael Kadous, head of North America, Adidas Terrex and Five Ten
ANTA Sports Products Ltd. (OTC: ANPDY)
- Headquarters: Xiamen, China (subsidiary Amer Sports is based in Helsinki, Finland, and its U.S. operation is based in Ogden, Utah)
- Outdoor connection: ANTA is the owner of Amer Sports and its portfolio of outdoor and snow sports brands—Suunto, Salomon, Arc’teryx, Armada Skis, and Atomic.
- Key executives: Jie Zheng, CEO, Amer Sports
Callaway Golf Co. (NYSE: ELY)
- Headquarters: Carlsbad, California
- Outdoor connection: Though primarily a golf manufacturer (like Acushnet above) and now the owner of Topgolf, the company made a big play in the outdoor space in late 2018 with the acquisition of European outdoor brand Jack Wolfskin.
- Key executives: Richard Collier, CEO, Jack Wolfksin; Diana Seung, GM, Jack Wolfskin North America
Camping World Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CWH)
- Headquarters: Lincolnshire, Illinois
- Outdoor connection: Camping World tried its hand at outdoor retail but abandoned that play in 2019.
- Key executives: Marcus Lemonis, CEO
Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GOOS)
- Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario
- Outdoor connection: In addition to its eponymous apparel brand, Canada Goose owns and operates footwear brand Baffin.
- Key executives: Dani Reiss, CEO
Canadian Tire Corp. (OTC: CDNAF)
- Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario
- Outdoor connection: CTC boasts an iconic outdoor brand, Helly Hansen, in its portfolio. (It also operates a chain of sporting goods retail stores throughout Canada.)
- Key executives: Paul Stoneham, CEO, Helly Hansen
Clarus Corp. (Nasdaq: CLAR)
- Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah
- Outdoor connection: Clarus is a holding company whose flagship outdoor brand is Black Diamond Equipment. Clarus also owns Pieps, SKINourishment plus two bullet manufacturers.
- Key executives: John Walbrecht, President
Columbia Sportswear Co. (Nasdaq: COLM)
- Headquarters: Portland, Oregon
- Outdoor connection: In addition to the Columbia brand, the Portland-based apparel and footwear giant includes Mountain Hardwear, prAna, and SOREL in its portfolio.
- Key executives: Timothy Boyle, CEO
Compass Diversified (NYSE: CODI)
- Headquarters: Westport, Connecticut
- Outdoor connection: Long known for its hook-and-bullet assets, CODI added a big outdoor name in the fall of 2020 with the acquisition of BOA Technology Inc.
- Key executives: Shawn Neville, CEO, BOA Technology
Deckers Outdoor Corp. (NYSE: DECK)
- Headquarters: Goleta, California
- Outdoor connection: Deckers is a major player in outdoor and active footwear with such brands as Hoka One One, Teva, Sanuk, and Ugg.
- Key executives: Wendy Yang, President, performance lifestyle brands
Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS)
- Headquarters: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Outdoor connection: The sporting goods retail giant recently launched an outdoor store concept called Public Lands, led by industry veteran Todd Spaletto.
- Key executives: Lauren Hobart, President and CEO; Todd Spaletto, President, Public Lands
Emerald Holding Inc. (NYSE: EEX)
- Headquarters: San Juan Capistrano, California
- Outdoor connection: Emerald is the owner and operator of the twice-annual Outdoor Retailer and Surf Expo trade shows.
- Key executives: Hervé Sedky, CEO
Fenix Outdoor International AG (OTC: FNXTF)
- Headquarters: Zug, Switzerland (U.S. headquarters in Louisville, Colorado)
- Outdoor connection: The Swiss company’s outdoor brands include Fjallraven, Royal Robbins, Brunton, and Primus.
- Key executives: Martin Nordin, CEO; Nathan Dopp, CEO Americas
Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN)
- Headquarters: Schaffhausen, Switzerland (U.S. headquarters in Olathe, Kansas)
- Key executives: Clifton Pemble, President and CEO
GoPro (Nasdaq: GPRO)
- Headquarters: San Mateo, California
- Key executives: Nick Woodman, CEO
Helen of Troy Ltd. (Nasdaq: HELE)
- Headquarters: El Paso, Texas
- Outdoor connection: Among its many consumer brands is Hydro Flask, the maker of insulated and stainless steel drinkware.
- Key executives: Julien Mininberg, CEO
Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq: JOUT)
- Headquarters: Racine, Wisconsin
- Outdoor connection: The company owns two outdoor brands (Eureka and Jetboil) and two watercraft brands (Old Town and Ocean Kayak).
- Key executives: Helen P. Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and CEO
Newell Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: NWL)
- Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia
- Outdoor connection: The company’s core outdoor brands are Marmot and Coleman (and there is some crossover into outdoor with its other consumer brands Contigo, Ex Officio, and Stearns).
- Key executives: Ravi Saligram, CEO
Samsonite International SA (OTC: SMSEY)
- Headquarters: Hong Kong
- Outdoor connection: The luggage giant owns outdoor pack and bag brands Gregory Mountain Products and High Sierra.
- Key executives: John Sears, VP, Gregory
Thule Group AB (OTC: THUPY)
- Headquarters: Malmo, Sweden
- Outdoor connection: The Swedish maker of Thule car racks, luggage, and baby strollers recently got into car-top campers with its purchase of Tepui.
- Key executives: Magnus Welander, CEO; Fred Clark, President Americas
Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
- Headquarters: Broomfield, Colorado
- Outdoor connection: In addition to being the largest ski resort operator in the world, Vail also operates massive lodging and retail operations.
- Key executives: Rob Katz, CEO
VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC)
- Headquarters: Denver, Colorado
- Outdoor connection: One of the biggest, most influential corporations in the outdoor industry, VF Corporation owns and operates an “outdoor” portfolio of The North Face, Altra, Icebreaker, Smartwool, Timberland, and an “active” portfolio of Eagle Creek, Eastpak, JanSport, and Vans.
- Key executives: Steve Rendle, CEO
Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO)
- Headquarters: Anoka, Minnesota
- Outdoor connection: Vista did some rightsizing of its portfolio in recent years, shedding its firearms assets, and its outdoor portfolio now consists of CamelBak, Camp Chef, Bell, and Giro.
- Key executives: Christopher Metz, CEO
Wolverine World Wide Inc. (NYSE: WWW)
- Headquarters: Rockford, Michigan
- Outdoor connection: Another of the big footwear players, Wolverine owns and operates such outdoor brands as Merrell and Chaco, while other brands include Wolverine, Saucony, and Cat Footwear.
- Key executives: Blake Krueger, CEO
Yeti Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YETI)
- Headquarters: Austin, Texas
- Key executives: Matthew Reintjes, President and CEO