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

Foot Locker store front logo

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

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

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

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.

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