Gyms are again crowded as people, for a while at least, try to live up to their New Year’s resolutions to get back into shape.
It’s also the time of year to put a spotlight on wearable tech stocks because of the growth of various fitness and sports trackers. According to a report by Fortune Business Insights the global fitness tracker market size is expected to grow from $53.94 billion in 2023 to $182.90 billion by 2030.
A Closer Look at the Top Wearable Tech Stocks to Buy
Here is a closer look at the top wearable tech stocks that investors are looking at this year:
1. Apple: Best Wearable Tech Stock in 2024 for Dependable Growth
The company’s stock got a jolt recently when it announced the launch of its virtual-reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro. The company said the product will be available in February and it is touting it as a spatial computer that can blend digital content with the physical world. It is seen as the company’s biggest launch of a new product since it began selling Airpods in 2016.
The same day the company launched the Vision Pro, it said it was expanding the offerings for its Apple Fitness+, a workout video streaming platform that requires a subscription to use and can be used in connection with its Apple Watches.
The company said that the service was adding a workout program called, Strength, Core and Yoga for Golfers, as well as a new meditation theme. This isn’t a small point because the company reported an all-time high for subscription revenue in the fourth quarter of $22.3 billion, up 16.2%, year over year.
Apple was already seeing increased earnings, thanks to higher margins from its software services, including those connected to its wearable devices. In the fourth quarter, the company reported revenue of $89.5 billion, down 1%, year over year and earnings per share (EPS) of $1.46, up 13% compared to the same period last year. Those numbers don’t include sales of the company’s latest Apple Watch, which is its first carbon-neutral model.
In the short term, sales for the company’s Apple Watches will likely show a decline because the International Trade Commission issued a sales ban of the company’s Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 late last year in a patent infringement case with medical device maker Masimo. On Dec. 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a stay of the ban, so for now those two models are selling again.
The company has increased its dividend for 12 consecutive years (accounting to stock splits), including a raise of 4.3% last year to $0.24, equaling a yield of around 0.52%.
2. Alphabet: Best Wearable Tech Stock Using AI To Trim Costs
Most of Alphabet’s revenue is still search-related, but its big drivers are also Google Cloud and YouTube. The company is investing heavily in AI and that will help it maintain its edge in search. Alphabet will likely find uses for AI in all of its Google Pixel products, including its Pixel smart watches.
In the third quarter, Alphabet reported that sales rose 11%, year over year, to $77.7 billion and net income rose 41.5% over the same period last year to $19.7 billion.
Despite those stellar numbers, the company has a major reorganization on the way as it plans to cut back on its advertising sales team, cutting as many 30,000 jobs as it leans more into AI to automate ad purchasing.
It will be interesting to see how the company’s decision to phase out third-party cookies on its Chrome browser will affect advertising sales. It’s worth noting that Alphabet will then hold control of the data collected from its browser and that could strengthen the moat around the most-used search engine.
3. Garmin: Best Pure-Play Wearable Tech Stock
Garmin operates in five segments: fitness, outdoor, aviation, marine and automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and many of them involve wearable technology. In fitness and outdoor, the company offers both GPS-enabled smartwatches for fitness and for golf, but it also has heart-rate monitors, dive watches, and other wearable devices.
Some of the newer features on the smartwatches include nap detection that tracks and logs naps, skin temperature detection, which can point out potential illness and a person’s sleep environment, and a daily summary on how much energy a person uses in a day.
In the third quarter, the company reported record revenue of $1.28 billion, up 12%, year over year and EPS of $1.34, up 23% compared to the same period last year. Four of the company’s segments saw growth, led by automotive OED and fitness, up 59% and 26%, respectively.
The company last raised its quarterly dividend to $0.73 in 2022 and it brings a yield of around 2.4%.
4. Xiaomi: Returning to Growth in China
Xiaomi makes everything from refrigerators to TVs, and soon, electric vehicles. It has said it plans to launch in the first half of this year, the Xiaomi SU7 Series electric sedan.
It is the third-largest shipper of cell phones worldwide, but it also has a significant presence in smartwatches and earbuds for fitness and other uses. The company, in September, launched the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro, which is powered by Google’s Wear OS app. The company is making significant inroads in its smartwatches because it keeps prices down.
In the third quarter, the company got back to revenue growth after being stagnant for a year and a half, due in great part to COVID-19 lockdowns in China. The company reported revenue of 70.9 billion yuan (about $9.7 billion), up about 0.6%, year over year, and 5.3% sequentially. Xiaomi said it had third-quarter net income of 6 billion yuan (roughly $843.8 million), up 183% over the same period last year.
5. Catapult Group International: Developing a Strong Niche Market in Sports Wearable Tech
Catapult is having a big impact for a relatively small company with only 400 employees. Its wearable sports technology is used by more than 3,425 elite teams in 137 countries, including major pro sports leagues such as the Premier League, the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.
The company is growing revenue from its software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings and its host of hardware – including its Vector Pro and Vector Core and Catapult One player tracking devices. In the NFL, the devices can be paired with the company’s smart football, which uses a chip.
Combined, the data gives more useful metrics on all kinds of information on the practice field, using GPS and local positioning system (LPS) tracking, heart-rate monitoring and inertial sensors. The company’s software app is used by most college football teams to host and exchange game film and practice film.
In the first half of fiscal 2024, the company reported revenue of $49.8 million, up 19.8%, year over year. Though the company isn’t profitable yet, it generated positive free cash flow (FCF) in the first half of $1.4 million, compared to a FCF loss of $13.4 million in the same period a year ago.