May 15, 2020
While there are many creative options for majority owners to raise capital or create liquidity from their ownership, sometimes the cost and increased regulation by taking their company public makes the most sense. Below are a list of companies you may not have known are publicly traded; maybe you'll be surprised to find a favorite worth following!
Market Cap: $4.3B
Founded and headquartered in Toronto, Canada Goose got it’s humble start making woolen vests, snowmobile suits, and other functional outerwear. Their distinctive, red, white, and blue circular logo lends itself as a status symbol in winter parkas. Since their founding, Canada Goose still prides itself for manufacturing their apparel in their home country. If you favor a vegan lifestyle, this stock may not be for you as they have faced criticism surrounding their use of coyote fur and goose down.
Market Cap: $18.9B
In addition to its namesake product, Clorox is the owner of many household brands like Brita, Burt’s Bees, Glad, & Pine-Sol. With roots dating before the Great Depression, the company has managed to survive one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history and ingredient rations of WWII. Procter & Gamble recognized a good thing when they saw it and purchased “The Clorox Company” in 1957, later to be divested in 1969 after a rival company had the FTC petition the Supreme Court on antitrust grounds. Clorox can boast of being the first major consumer cleaning brand to launch an environmentally friendly product line, Green Works, and has integrated corporate social responsibility with financial reporting.
Market Cap: $502.8M
Brothers-in-law Nat Ancell and Ted Baumritter had the vision of selling environments, not just furniture. Headquartered in Danbury, Connecticut, the company has been through its fair share of growing pains and has closed thirteen of eighteen manufacturing plants since they began operations in 1932. Although the company has international operations, Ethan Allen manufactures 70% of it’s furniture within the United States. Joining forces with Disney, Ethan Allen rolled out a magical collaboration of mouse inspired furniture in 2016 which it maintains today.
Market Cap: $298.9M
Founded in the early twentieth century at the height of the exposure of industrial meatpacking, Nathan’s owner, Nathan Handwerker, is said to have made sure surgeons wearing scrubs were seen frequenting his New York City stand to provide the public peace of mind about the quality of his hot dog. This strategy appears to have helped the company grow and become franchised by 1959, going public less than ten years later. Known for their annual Coney Island hotdog eating contest on the Fourth of July, the record to beat is 74 hotdogs. Nathan’s is also known for being the official hot dog sponsor of the MLB in a deal that marked the sport's first ever hot dog endorsement.
A luxury air mattress company with numerous J.D. Power awards, Sleep Number’s 2018 net sales were over $1.5 billion. Founded in 1987, the Walker family is no longer involved in the operations of the company after being sentenced to twenty five years in prison for a variety of white collar crimes. Additionally, the company has not had much luck with their celebrity endorsements due to controversy falling on radio host Rush Limbaugh. This has not harmed the going concern of the company as they continue to post strong growth. However, if you're having a hard time convincing your Vikings, Cowboys, or Chiefs fan that it's time to upgrade, Sleep Number has partnered with the NFL and you can sell “Kirk Cousin’s Sleep Number setting is 70”.
Market Cap: $4.1B
Smile Direct Club is in its publicly traded infancy. Incorporated in September of 2019, Smile Direct has a history of high profile investors and collaborators such as NBA player Draymond Green and singer Shawn Mendes. Their clear aligner treatment addresses the large and underserved global orthodontics market. The Nashville headquartered teledentistry company was founded by Jordan Katzman & Alex Fenkell, and shows no sign of slowing growth anytime soon as they are expanding their brick and mortar presence.
Market Cap: $2.3B
Tootsie Roll Industries owns a surprising number of nostalgic brands such as Dots, Andes Chocolate Mints, Charms Blow Pops, Sugar Daddy & Babies, Junior Mints, & Double Bubble, just to name a few. Like many companies on this list, Tootsie Roll made its initial mark in the United States around the turn of the 20th century. A few fun facts; Tootsie Rolls became a standard part of soldier rations during World War II and will respond to every letter children send to the company and will issue “The Clean Stick Award” to each person who mails in a response to the question of how many licks. Additionally, all of their products are nut and gluten free!
Market Cap: $2.5B
Perhaps the most surprising of the companies mentioned, this stock might appeal to those do-it-yourselfers who favor WD-40 as a fix-all to Duct Tape! WDFC trades near $180/share, even after three historical stock splits, but has paid an uninterrupted dividend for over forty years. WD-40 literally stands for Water Displacement, 40th formula. That's the name straight out of the lab book used by the chemist who developed the product back in 1953. The classic formula does have a secret ingredient the company will not disclose although they do assure the product does not contain silicone, kerosene, water, graphite, CFCs or fish oil.
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