7 Stocks Benefitting from New Year Resolutions

Each January ushers in a new year of hopeful resolutions.  According to Proactive Change, 40 to 45 percent of American adults make at least one or more resolutions each year.  The most popular resolutions involve weight loss, exercise and quitting cigarette smoking.

The new year also ushers in a new wave of stock picks.  Considering the most popular resolutions, here are some equities that may receive an additional boost.  However, this boost may prove to be temporary.  Proactive Change also estimates that after the first week of January, 25 percent of resolutions are broken.  After one month, that number jumps to 36 percent.

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When it comes to weight management, there are three well-known companies for investors: NutriSystem Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRI), Weight Watchers International Inc. (NYSE:WTW) and Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF).  Although NutriSystem declined 39 percent last year, shares surged 7 percent on Wednesday after being upgraded from Market Perform to Outperform by Avondale.  A strong performer of recent years has been Weight Watches.  Shares have increased 116 percent in the past three years, and currently trade near $57.  Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) has a price target of $82 on shares.

The best performer in the weight management class has been Herbalife, which sells nutrition and weight management products through a direct-selling model.  Shares have surged 372 percent in the past three years as older adults are becoming more health conscious.  Heather Zerrer, a Herbalife Qualified Producer in Kansas City explains, “We see our orders increasing because of the baby boomers flooding the nutrition field trying to live longer.  With Generation H having a fun and care free atmosphere, they are wanting to earn more money in our business model. Sales are booming because of these two generations coming together, both wanting to be more healthy and fit.”

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Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) and Dicks Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE:DKS) are two companies that stand to benefit from more people exercising.  The king of shoes has seen its stock gain almost 100 percent in the past three years, and hit a brand new all-time high of $98.75 on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, shares of Dicks Sporting Goods have increased 154 percent in the past three years.  Dicks Sporting Goods offers a wide range of apparel and equipment for every season, including brands: Nike, Under Armour (NYSE:UA) and The North Face (NYSE:VFC).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million live with a serious illness caused by smoking.  Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) are world leading pharmaceutical companies that offer quit-smoking products.  Shares of Pfizer declined .44 percent and 3.74 percent in 2009 and 2010, respectively.  However, shares gained 24 percent in 2011, making it one of the best performers in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA).  Shares of GlaxoSmithKline have increased 19 percent in the past three years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com