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Fitness Equipment Has a Bright Future

As obesity accelerates, society is becoming health conscious, and more people are embracing fitness equipment. A great player in this industry is Nautilus Inc. 
The company has posted excellent quarterly results, including a 15.0% increase in total revenue. Consumer demand for the Max Trainer product line was robust in the year 2015. Further, for fiscal 2015, Nautilus’ operating income increased 33.6% compared to the prior-year period.
Headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, Nautilus provides innovative solutions that make fitness more attainable and motivate people to live healthier lives. With a brand portfolio, including Bowflex, Nautilus, Octane Fitness, Schwinn and Universal, Nautilus develops innovative products to support healthy living for consumer use, primarily in the U.S. and Canada. The company operates through two business segments: Direct and Retail.
Nautilus’ Direct business markets and sells its products, principally Bowflex cardio and strength products, directly to consumers. It is a direct marketer of strength products in the U.S. and sells cardio products, especially the Bowflex TreadClimber and Bowflex Max Trainer. In its Retail business, the company markets and sells a line of consumer fitness equipment under the Nautilus, Schwinn, Universal and Bowflex brands.
Strong fourth-quarter results
On Feb. 22, Nautilus reported unaudited operating results for the fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2015. The company’s total revenue increased 15% to $109.1 million, compared to $94.9 million for the prior-year period. Gross margins for the fourth quarter declined by 300 basis points to 48.1%, and adjusted gross margins increased 120 basis points to 52.3%. Further, Nautilus’ adjusted operating income increased 32.2% to $19.2 million.
Nautilus’ net income for the reported quarter was $9.7 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, and includes a loss from discontinued operations of $100,000, compared to $10.4 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, including a loss from discontinued operations of $100,000. Income from continuing operations was $9.9 million, or 32 cents per diluted share, compared to $10.5 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, for the comparable prior-year period.
The chart below shows the company’s segmentwise performance.
Factors that contributed to fourth-quarter and full-year success
  • Net sales increased due to higher sales in both the Direct and Retail segments.
  • Adjusted operating income increased due to improved leverage of general and administrative costs across the higher sales volumes.
  • Inventory increased primarily due to the acquisition of Octane, higher revenues, new product introductions and the addition of a new distribution center.
Fiscal 2015 results
For fiscal 2015, Nautilus’ income from continuing operations was $26.8 million, or 85 cents per diluted share, compared to $20.4 million, or 64 cents per diluted share, in the prior year. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations were 93 cents per diluted share. Gross margin increased to 51.6% compared to 51.2% for the comparable prior year period. Further, a chart has been provided to show Nautilus’ fiscal 2015 metrics compared to fiscal 2014.
Growth and acquisitions
Nautilus has a multichannel growth strategy that includes unique, innovative products, market share growth opportunity with strong brand awareness and media penetration and conversion strategy.
Since 2010, the company has been delivering solid financial results. Nautilus’ strong revenue growth coupled with improving profitability resulted in a robust cash generation. From 2010 to 2015, revenue grew at a CAGR of 12.25%. Further, from 2011 to 2014, net cash grew at a CAGR of 83%.
Nautilus’ growth drivers are:
  1. Retail.
  2. Specialty and light commercial.
  3. Innovation.
  4. International.
  5. Strategic opportunities.
To strengthen its global footprint, the company has announced the availability of its products such as Bowflex Max Trainer and Schwinn Airdyne AD 8 Total Fitness Bike in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. Further, Nautilus announced the availability of the Bowflex Max Trainer in Switzerland.
On Jan. 4, Nautilus signed an agreement to acquire Octane Fitness LLC. The acquisition will diversify Nautilus’ portfolio, expand its channels of distribution and will increase its access to international markets.
A peek into the fitness equipment industry
Increasing obesity across the world and rising fitness awareness and health concerns are driving the market for fitness equipment. North America is the largest market for fitness equipment. Europe and Asia Pacific hold the second position. As per Allied Market Research, the fitness equipment market worldwide is expected to reach $11.9 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 3.89% from 2015 to 2020. Therefore, there is enough room for Nautilus to grow.
(Source: Company website)
On a concluding note
Nautilus is a rock-solid company with strong financials, scalable platform and infrastructure, experienced management team, solid sales and earnings growth followed by significantly improved profitability and unique and innovative products.
The fitness equipment industry is booming. With the recent agreement with Octane, Nautilus is aiming for a better future and is expected to create greater shareholder returns.

How's going fitness lifestyle?

It’s hard to believe but it’s 2016 and spring looms on the horizon. Most folks, as New Years comes around, make their resolutions.
I love when New Years rolls around it’s a reason to start anew. Many people ask me what my resolution is and, frankly, I just shake my head and tell them that I do resolutions.
I mess with them and say it’s because I’m perfect (actually I’m far from it). But it’s more so because I don’t believe we should wait for a turn of the calendar to make good solid changes in our lives.
It’s true that we resolve to give up something that is bad for us or our health, such as smoking, eating unhealthy food, getting too little sleep (the list goes on and on). But I believe that when you are trying to change something like that, do it now! How about an August resolution or a November promise?
Those that think like me are called Non-resoluters. How did I get this title? Experience. I have seen very well-intentioned people realize in September or October that they need to do something about their fitness health and wellness. They don’t want to wait until New Year’s to make a “resolution, so head into a gym or rethink their eating/nutrition habits and make those changes.
October is not a bad time to start this process, as it’s basically the prelude to the Thanksgiving-Christmas eating season. Starting in October will give you a good six weeks of a fitness/nutrition lifestyle — a good way to build up some momentum heading into the holidays.
Conversely, if you think of starting this the week before Thanksgiving, it can backfire. Then, heading into the holidays — with all that wonderful food and merriment — can be lethal. You get the picture.
Yet this is when we make most of the New Year’s Resolution.
I don’t want to sound negative, or to be down on anyone who uses the new year to get motivated. But I’ve seen too many where fitness goals fall by the wayside. Gyms that are jam-packed in January (so much so that clients complain to me they can’t even use one piece of equipment) will become less packed come spring. Folks get busy and get outside after being cooped up in the winter and going inside to the gym doesn’t sound so appealing.
I’m trying paint a picture to demonstrate how New Year’s resolutions, particularly in fitness and health, can end up failing. This is exactly why I am one of those folks that do what I need to do for my well-being regardless of what time of the year it is.
I believe in making any changes to your health and fitness when you think of them and regardless of the time of year. If you get the urge to get into shape or eat better in June, don’t wait until after the holidays.
Summertime may be when “living is easy” with all the barbeques, vacation days and getaways. It’s easy not to eat healthy or eat out and not heat the oven if the weather is too hot. But if you think of starting that program in June, then do it!
If you happen to think of this in October, and that month has you thinking of apple picking and all the apple pies and apple crisps that goes with it, eat your fill and then head to the gym to walk or run it off.
Think about it, whenever you decide that you need to get into shape or eat better, that is the exact time to do it and not hold it off until some old fashioned resolution notion. No matter what your idea is to make good changes to your life do it when you think of it or make your own time for your own resolution. If due to natural events, your fitness goals happen to be on New Year’s day great but don’t make that the end goal. So maybe I am being a bit too harsh on New Year’s Resolutions and if I am I am sorry. In fact, 2016 New Years is long gone and will be quite a few months until New Year’s rolls around again. My aim is to try to have people move away from that type of thinking and come up with a new timeframe to have their fitness and health goals met rather than have a one time a year hit or miss milestone. To me this is taking something that can be a negative, taking charge and turning it into a positive, one that you invent yourself. Oh and folks there doesn’t have to be ONE time to do this, after all, there are 365 days in a year, sometimes 366 but I won’t quibble about one day, just New Year’s Day.

A Physical Fit: Donations, Work Give Rivendell a Fitness Room

Orford — Last week was February vacation at Rivendell Academy, but Zack Gray and Jacob Perkins didn’t mind being on campus.
The seniors were taking advantage of the newly christened Rivendell Fitness Center, which opened Feb. 15 and features an array of donated and repaired equipment.
It’s now open to all students and faculty from 6:30-8 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. on school days or by appointment with Rivendell physical education and health teacher James Graham, who has sought to improve the facility since arriving at Rivendell at the beginning of the school year.
Tucked on the north end of the middle school building, the area simply known as the “weight room” had been underutilized and lacked sufficient equipment, Graham said. Dusty dumbbells, old benches and a squat rack weren’t used very much, and demand was similarly low for an older-model treadmill and elliptical machine that had mechanical issues.
A recent campaign spearheaded by Graham and Gray to gather donated equipment and promote the facility has helped it become functional again. A row of operational treadmills and an exercise bike now face the room’s bay windows, the preexisting elliptical has been fixed and a new one has been added, along with a bodyweight resistance machine, hanging and stationary boxing bags, and new weights.
The improvements have incited something akin to a workout renaissance at Rivendell as student-athletes such as Gray and Perkins — along with plenty of their peers — utilize the facility with increasing frequency.
“There’s a lot of traffic in here now, and most of them have never worked out here or even seen this room before,” said Graham, 46, a master personal trainer who doubles as the Raptors’ junior varsity boys basketball coach. “You’ve got young kids, like guys on my jayvee team, who’ve never worked out before, and now they’re getting into it. You’ve got guys on the varsity team who never would have dreamed of coming to school early who are now in the parking lot at 6:30 in the morning, waiting for the door to get unlocked. There’s still some work to do, but there’s been a great response so far. We want to keep it going.”
Graham, a 6-foot-7 Boulder, Colo., native who played hoops at the University of Northern Colorado and for a Dallas-based adult developmental league, now hopes to help student athletes at Rivendell accomplish their own goals.
Gray, a burly forward who led the Raptors with 16 points per game this season, aspires to walk on to the men’s basketball team at Plymouth State University next winter. Perkins has more immediate goals, looking to perfect his swing entering his senior season for the Rivendell golf team this spring.
Working with Graham, and with the new equipment at school, has been a big help so far.
“You can find routines online and join a gym, but it really helps to talk with someone about your specific goals, bounce ideas off of them and get advice,” Gray said. “Mr. Graham is very good with that kind of thing. He knows his stuff.”
One of Graham’s goals with the facility is to help students feel comfortable using the equipment, mitigating what he calls “the intimidation factor.” He’s purchased padding to help alleviate the squat bar’s pressure on the shoulders and back, for example, and is available on-site during the facility’s scheduled hours to offer guidance in the way of movement patterns, weight-load and endurance targets and general technique tips.
“A lot of the idea is just being there for the kids and being supportive as they hopefully develop lifelong fitness habits,” said Graham, who obtained a masters degree in clinical counseling at Dallas Baptist University after studying physical education and kinesiology as an undergraduate. “Every student is going to have different goals. You’ve got guys like Zack, who want to play college basketball, and guys like Jacob who want to get better at golf. You’ve got kids just working out for the first time, so there is going to be different approaches for everyone.”
Graham hopes the facility will expand to include an adjacent room now used as a storage closet, perhaps for stationary bicycle classes. Aesthetic improvements are in the works for mirrors, brighter paint and a television or two.
He also plans to soon open Rivendell Fitness Center’s doors to the public, a way of giving back to a community that has been so generous donating equipment.
“We’ve gotten a lot of stuff just from talking to people and posting (donation requests on public listservs),” Graham said. “The principal here, Keri Gelenian, has been very supportive and on board with what we’re doing, and (school maintenance personnel) John Jakubens and Steve Page have been great. We wouldn’t have a lot of the equipment up and running without them.”
Gray, who has helped transport and install much of the new equipment, feels like it’s the start of something great at his school.
“Just thinking about how there was hardly anything in here before and no one was in here, and seeing what it is already now. … I can picture coming back here in 10 years and being, like, ‘Wow. This is awesome. I’m glad I was a part of this.’ ”