According to a recent piece in The Atlantic, the US housing boom is “so wild, half of the houses listed nationwide in April went pending in less than a week. So wild, one poll found that most buyers admitted to bidding on homes they’d never seen in person. So wild, a Bethesda, Maryland, resident recently included in her written offer ‘a pledge to name her first-born child after the seller,’ according to the CEO of the realty site Redfin. So wild, she did not get the house.”
What’s driving this wild housing boom?
It starts and ends with demographics. As you probably know, the Millennials are the biggest generation in US history, and they have been delaying the typical nesting pattern for longer than just about any prior generation, waiting longer to settle down, get married, buy a home, have some kids. The great circle of life.
For Millennials, the big issue is partly cultural and partly financial. One can make a case that much of it has seeds in the global financial crisis of 2008, which resulted in massive job losses, slow job growth, and much tighter lending standards for prospective home buyers. That may have helped to push back to the nesting process for the biggest generation ever by a good decade.
That’s all coming home to roost now for the US housing market. One side effect is the potential for an associated boom in furniture stocks, which haven’t really participated with the homebuilders, but could catch on as a pin-action play into the second half of the year.
Afterall, the existence of tons of new first-time homeowners translates into the need for tons of new beds, chairs, tables, shelves, sofas, and couches.
With that in mind, we take a look at some of the more interesting ways to play this dynamic, including Lovesac Co (NASDAQ:LOVE), La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE:LZB), Exxe Group Inc (OTCMKTS:AXXA), and Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR).
Lovesac Co (NASDAQ:LOVE) bills itself as a technology driven company that designs, manufactures and sells unique, high quality furniture derived through its proprietary Designed for Life® approach which results in products that are built to last a lifetime and designed to evolve as its customers’ lives do.
The company’s current product offering is comprised of modular couches called Sactionals, premium foam beanbag chairs called Sacs, and their associated home decor accessories. The company markets and sells its products primarily online directly at www.lovesac.com, which is supported by direct-to-consumer touch-feel points in the form of its own showrooms as well as through shop-in-shops and pop-up-shops with third party retailers.
Lovesac Co (NASDAQ:LOVE) most recently announced financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, which ended May 2, 2021. Results included a net sales increase of 52.5% driven by an increase in showroom sales of 170.4%, an increase in “Other” channel which include pop-up-shops and shop-in-shops sales of 41.4%, offset by a decrease in internet sales of 16.3%.
Shawn Nelson, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our strong first quarter performance affirms the confluence of two highly-favorable dynamics in Lovesac’s evolution. The first is that we are providing a great customer experience, backed by product innovation, investments in digital, and expanded showrooms and other distribution channels. Impactful and high-return marketing and merchandising strategies further complement these efforts. The second is that the pandemic tailwinds continue within the home furnishings category itself and our teams are executing across the board to strengthen the Lovesac brand and value proposition in this environment. The results are clear and include record first quarter results highlighted by sales growth of 52.5%, a comparable sales increase of 48.8% and positive Adjusted EBITDA1 of $5.3 million.
And the stock has been acting well over recent days, up something like 15% in that time.
Lovesac Co (NASDAQ:LOVE) pulled in sales of $82.9M in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top line growth of 52.5%. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($65.7M against $63.7M).
La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE:LZB) frames itself as one of the world’s leading residential furniture producers, marketing furniture for every room of the home. The Wholesale segment includes England, La-Z-Boy, American Drew®, Hammary®, and Kincaid®. The company-owned Retail segment includes 159 of the 354 La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® stores. Joybird is an e-commerce retailer and manufacturer of upholstered furniture.
The corporation’s branded distribution network is dedicated to selling La-Z-Boy Incorporated products and brands, and includes 354 stand-alone La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® stores and 561 independent Comfort Studio® locations, in addition to in-store gallery programs for the company’s Kincaid and England operating units.
La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE:LZB) most recently reported strong operating results for the fiscal 2021 fourth quarter and full year ended April 24, 2021, including news that consolidated sales increased 41% to $519.5 million and written same-store sales for the entire La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® network doubled, increasing 100%.
It will be interesting to see if the stock can break out of its recent sideways action. Over the past week, the stock is net flat, and looking for something new to spark things. Over the past month, shares of the stock have suffered from clear selling pressure, dropping by roughly -11%.
La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE:LZB) pulled in sales of $519.5M in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top line growth of 41.4%. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($415.3M against $611.7M, respectively).
Exxe Group Inc (OTCMKTS:AXXA) is an interesting addition to this list. AXXA is a very diversified business with a focus on strategic growth through acquisitions in real estate, sustainable technology, media, agribusiness, and financial services, as exemplified by its latest key move – which was to acquire a furniture brand with $MM sales and a growing brand presence.
AXXA has also picked up momentum in the fintech space as an exchange services operator and a focused high frequency arbitrageur through its 1Myle Ltd segment. In this role, 1Myle buys and sells alt currencies, including Bitcoin, taking advantage of price differentials. So, this is the only crypto/furniture crossover you are likely to see.
Exxe Group Inc (OTCMKTS:AXXA) recently announced that it has acquired a controlling interest in furniture manufacturer and interior design agency daskonzept group AG, which is headquartered in Thun, Switzerland. According to the release, daskonzept had assets of $11.4 million, revenue of $4 million, and EBITDA of approximately $813,000 in CY-2020. CY-2021 estimates are for revenue growth of 37% to $5.5 million, and EBITDA growth of 34% to $1.1 million.
daskonzept furniture brands include USM Haller, Vitra, Tecno, and Inno. The Company has various furniture manufacturing plants, offices, and warehousing operations in Switzerland, Italy, Finland, and Germany. daskonzept has served a range of prestigious clients including, but not limited to, MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Charles & Ray Eames, George Nelson, Sir Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Nicholas Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid, Tadao Ando, Alvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron, and SANAA.
Eduard Nazmiev, Ph.D., Exxe Group’s CEO said: “The daskonzept acquisition marks AXXA’s entry into the furniture manufacturing and interior design space. AXXA is now positioned to capitalize on an over 30% increase in revenues and EBITDA for daskonzept.”
Exxe Group Inc (OTCMKTS:AXXA) shares continue to hold a bullish longer-term posture, trading above the rising major 200-day moving average, up about 300% so far this year, but locked in a broad consolidation pattern since February. Support sits in place in the $0.04 area.
Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR) describes itself as a globally recognized leader in design. Since its inception in 1905, the company’s innovative, problem-solving designs and furnishings have inspired the best in people wherever they live, work, learn, heal, and play.
In 2018, Herman Miller created Herman Miller Group, a purposefully selected, complementary family of brands that includes Colebrook Bosson Saunders, DWR, Geiger, HAY, Maars Living Walls, Maharam, naughtone, and Nemschoff. Guided by a shared purpose—design for the good of humankind—Herman Miller Group shapes places that matter for customers while contributing to a more equitable and sustainable future for all.
Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR) most recently reported its financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter (the three months ended May 30, 2021), which included news that consolidated net sales for the quarter of $621.5 million were up by 30.6% compared to last year and up 27.9% organically, which excludes the impact of foreign currency translation.
According to the company, orders in the quarter came in at $689.4 million, up 28.8% compared to the prior year on a reported basis and up 26.0% organically.
Even in light of this news, MLHR has had a rough past week of trading action, with shares sinking something like -4% in that time. That said, chart support is nearby, and we may be in the process of constructing a nice setup for some movement back the other way. Over the past month, shares of the stock have suffered from clear selling pressure, dropping by roughly -11%.
Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR) generated sales of $590.5M, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of -5.7% on the top line. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($404.9M against $499.9M, respectively).