Growth Experts Shines a Light on Bright Horizons

05/24/2019 5:00 am EST


Ian Wyatt

Publisher & Chief Investment Strategist, Wyatt Investment Research

If it weren’t for the U.S.-China trade war, you could call this a Goldilocks economy. The good news is that there are stocks that will avoid the trade war gyrations, asserts Ian Wyatt, growth stock expert and editor of Million Dollar Portfolio.

A great example is Bright Horizons Family Solutions (BFAM). The company provides childcare and early education, back-up care and educational advisory services.

This economy has created a sweet spot for Bright Horizons. One of its core businesses is contracting with companies to provide childcare onsite or near-site for their employees.

As unemployment has dropped and the labor market has tightened, more parents need childcare and employers are looking to differentiate themselves. Free or discounted childcare is a great way to do that. That’s driven impressive growth at the company.

In the first quarter, revenue rose 8% year-over-year to $502 million. Revenue growth, combined with improving margins, pushed Bright Horizon’s net income up 13% to $42 million, while first-quarter earnings per share rose 15% to $0.71.

The other great thing about Bright Horizons is that it has zero exposure to China. The majority of its centers are located in the U.S., but it also has operations in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada and India.

And, barring an economic collapse, it has zero effective exposure to the trade war. That’s why it’s decoupling from the S&P 500.

As you can see from the chart below, Bright Horizons’ share price has mostly tracked the S&P 500. That’s still true to a large degree, but the relationship is showing signs of breaking down as global trade is one of the top concerns for investors today.

As long as the U.S. economy remains strong, you can look for the gap between Bright Horizons and the broader index to continue widening. Buy at the market price.

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