Halloween will be celebrated on Sunday and could see significant changes from the 2020 event in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic that saw many cancel parties and plans to trick or treat.
Here’s a look at what the data is pointing to for 2021 Halloween spending and five stocks to keep on the radar that could turn in strong quarters that include the holiday.
Halloween Sales Expectations: Consumers feel more comfortable resuming normal Halloween activities according to the National Retail Federation.
“This year, two-thirds (65%) of consumers plan to celebrate one of America’s favorite holidays, up from 58% in 2020,” NRF said.
The NRF sees consumers spending an average of $102.74 this year on Halloween, which would be the first time the figure has hit triple digits. Estimates last year were for spending of $92.12 by each consumer.
Research points to candy and costumes as big winners by the return of Halloween activities along with decorations. Spending on decorations is expected to hit $3.3 billion, an all-time high.
Halloween 2021 will also see a higher number of people without kids celebrating than in 2020. Estimates call for 55% of homes without children to celebrate, compared to 49% in 2020. The figure falls in line with pre-pandemic levels of anticipated adult costume spending.
Tootsie Roll: Candy company Tootsie Roll Industries Inc TR is a popular option for anyone handing out candy to trick or treaters. If you’ve ever gone trick or treating, chances are you got a ton of tootsie rolls, given their lower cost for anyone buying for a large number of visitors.
The company reported third-quarter sales of $183.1 million, up 17% year-over-year. The company saw a dip in fourth-quarter revenue last year compared to the prior year. Look for Tootsie Roll to see a rebound in the fourth quarter.
Hershey: The Hershey Co HSY has diversified its products to include several snack brands, but candy remains the big revenue driver. The company owns many of the popular brands that will be sought out by trick or treaters. Hershey’s third-quarter revenue of $2.4 billion was the highest it has seen in years on a quarterly basis.
“Consumer demand for our brands has remained robust,” Hershey Company CEO Michele Buck said. The company raised full-year sales guidance and a strong Halloween could help meet or exceed the updated expectations.
Jakks Pacific: Toy company Jakks Pacific Inc JAKK finds itself on the Halloween list thanks to its ownership of Disguise, the world’s leading costume design and manufacturing company. With more adults dressing up and a return of trick or treat activities, the company could be in for a strong quarter.
The company’s third-quarter revenue was $237 million, which included $64 million in revenue for the costumes segment. Costume sales were up 16.4% year-over-year and the fourth quarter could continue that trend. Jakks Pacific had revenue of $128.3 million in the fourth quarter last year, a decline from the prior year. Last year’s fourth quarter featured a 91% year-over-year increase in costumes segment revenue. The third and fourth quarters are the company’s two biggest quarters for revenue.
Party City: Retailer Party City Holdco Inc PRTY could be a popular destination for Halloween costumes and decorations. The company ended the second quarter with 749 locations and is also a provider of third-party products to other retailers.
Second-quarter revenue was up 110% year-over-year for the company.
“We saw sequential acceleration of the business as the economy opened up and restrictions subsided, driving increased consumer ability to celebrate,” Party City CEO Brad Weston said. The company will report third-quarter earnings on Nov. 9, which could provide a better look at how the Halloween shopping looked.
AMC Networks: Media company AMC Networks AMCX finds itself on the Halloween stock list thanks to its ownership of “The Walking Dead” franchise, horror film programming and as owner of horror focused streaming platform Shudder. AMC is airing “FearFest” from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 on its namesake AMC and AMC+ channels, which could turn into a subscriber boosting event.
“The Walking Dead” returned to the network with its final season beginning Oct. 10, which could be another October event to watch. Shudder, which is the largest horror focused streaming platform, is available for $4.75 a month on major streaming platforms. The platform hit one million subscribers in 2020. Pizza Hut, a Yum Brands Inc YUM company, partnered with Shudder to offer a promotion for 30 days free.
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