Life Time Fitness, Inc. (NYSE:LTM)

CAPS Rating: 2 out of 5

The Company operates distinctive and large sports and athletic, professional fitness, family recreation, resort and spa centers under the LIFE TIME FITNESS brand.

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Member Avatar whitefish01 (< 20) Submitted: 3/14/2014 12:17:32 PM : Outperform Start Price: $49.63 LTM Score: +1.49

Growing higher end "club" style environment. Own a lot of their properties. Opening new clubs often. Healthy lifestyles are a growing concern.

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Member Avatar bwann (< 20) Submitted: 3/3/2014 1:39:47 PM : Underperform Start Price: $47.29 LTM Score: -6.11

LTM's expenses are tied too closely to their real estate developments. With commercial real estate remaining stagnant, high profile developments essentially represent a liability to PPE investments.

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Member Avatar William163264 (55.45) Submitted: 1/7/2013 4:29:19 PM : Underperform Start Price: $49.03 LTM Score: +28.28

Sometimes the best investments are the ones in companies that you have the most personal experience with. I worked for 2 different LTFs on the East Coast, and unfortunately, their strenghts are not in categories that warrant an investment. Great personal trainers, however the leadership and sales departments are only average.

The reason that this presents such a large problem is because, over the past six months, the Metro DC area has been flooded with comparable gyms offering better membership prices. LTF does a "tiered" membership fees, with the more luxurious gyms costing more per month (ie Platinum, Diamond). A platinum member can visit lower tiers (i.e. Gold) however it does not work the other way around. The solution has been to change most Gold gyms to higher tiers, forcing members to pay more for the same gym. Good if you plan on using multiple gyms, bad for everybody else who does not want their membership fees increased (who does?).

Directly after this increase, many memberships were lost to Gyms who charge based on one or two "tiers", namely Xsport Fitness (crowded at nearly all hours, very well managed) and 24hourfitness.

I can't speak for every region, but I know this has been also happening in the Texas area (in addition to DC/Northern VA). Profit will continue to fall for this company, and they have taken out a large amount of debt to expand nationally and saturate highly populated areas. Those areas are now seeing smaller competitors who offer the more diverse gym experience that was once dominated by this company. I believe it will shrink down to a smaller number of gyms and a smaller number of loyal members. A chunk of the market is now going elsewhere and finding a comparable experience at a more affordable prices.

FYI, I Know this is a long pitch, but hopefully it will be read by some investors interested in looking at health clubs. I believe this may be one to stay away from.

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Member Avatar Rule0001 (< 20) Submitted: 5/28/2012 12:09:20 PM : Outperform Start Price: $43.37 LTM Score: -23.22

40

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Member Avatar Rallynow (44.83) Submitted: 9/18/2011 7:31:00 PM : Underperform Start Price: $37.51 LTM Score: +20.95

Rapid increase will go 180 during the next leg of the recession to start in 4Q of 2011 or 1Q of 2012

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Member Avatar steveadl (45.29) Submitted: 6/16/2011 5:58:28 AM : Outperform Start Price: $35.21 LTM Score: -2.92

Category killer, lifestyle destination - not just a gym

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Member Avatar SteamedCrab (97.10) Submitted: 3/3/2010 1:31:22 PM : Outperform Start Price: $26.53 LTM Score: +25.17

Quite unlike any other gym or healthclub I have ever been to. Sure, they have a big debt load, but I believe management will address this in the next five years.

Yes, it's more expensive then a regular gym, but check out the family memberships to lower the per person monthly rate. Look beyond the prices and check out the immense crowds at various locations. This isn't an LA Fitness or Gold's Gym where you dread going for an hour and leave. This isn't a Balley's where they rely upon tricking customers into ridiculous contracts for short-term revenue.

This is a high-quality brand that will continue to attract new customers and steal customers from other lower quality gyms.

Don't judge this brand unless you've been in a few locations.

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Member Avatar wisesilverwolf (< 20) Submitted: 11/13/2009 10:41:45 AM : Underperform Start Price: $24.15 LTM Score: -39.63

Who will pay for expensive gyms when they can't pay for everything else in their life? Especially now that you can't use your home equity like an ATM.

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Member Avatar pseud (98.39) Submitted: 7/8/2009 1:47:05 PM : Underperform Start Price: $18.26 LTM Score: -58.82

The company's business model is dependent upon the slightly-above average Joe shelling out $100/month for a gym which is a bit more shiny than the other gym around teh corner which costs only $30/month.

Now that the tide is down, it is apparent that even the slightly-above average Joe is swimming naked. When you're busy worrying about making the next rent/mortgage payment, your kids tuition fees or simply getting the rude awakening that "Oh My God, maybe its time we started saving some money for a rainy day", it becomes tough to justify paying a 300% premium for the privilege of being handed a fresh towel before your workout. There are no customer contracts in LTM's world.

This will (very quickly) lead to one of two scenarios: 1. LTM has to offer significant discounts to retain its customers or 2. Lose a healthy (no pun intended) chunk of their membership. Either of these are terminal to their business which because of its high fixed costs relies on economies of scale.

One person pitched that their membership numbers are improving. True. But look at the same store membership which is declining. You can spend $20 million to open a new location and obviously some people will show up even in this economy.

It is arguable if the company will eventually file for BK or the stock will languish in low-to-mid single digits whereby some unfortunate PE fund buys it for $8/share on its way to eventual bankruptcy. In short, their business model was dependent on cheap and abundant consumer credit which is not coming back as far as I can see. Estimates of any "hidden" real estate value are grossly exaggerated, IMO.

It is only a matter of time before it becomes evident that like its customers, LTM is also swimming naked.

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Member Avatar StatsGeek (29.50) Submitted: 4/7/2009 11:57:19 AM : Underperform Start Price: $15.01 LTM Score: -107.94

Looks cheap on a p/e basis. And then you look at all that "capex" and see that this stock should be trading under $1.00.

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Member Avatar dexion10 (27.79) Submitted: 3/24/2009 11:47:15 AM : Underperform Start Price: $11.23 LTM Score: -219.21

too much debt not enough customers

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Member Avatar OldEnglish (28.20) Submitted: 3/19/2009 10:16:53 AM : Underperform Start Price: $10.80 LTM Score: -231.44

Citron. Capex. Finished. After a long day of waiting for soup at the Salvation Army, people won't be in the mood to exercise.

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Member Avatar jstegma (29.45) Submitted: 3/16/2009 12:02:21 PM : Underperform Start Price: $7.64 LTM Score: -386.79

A trend that is due to end.

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Member Avatar angryinch (< 20) Submitted: 1/28/2009 12:00:01 PM : Outperform Start Price: $16.69 LTM Score: +84.45

Life Time Fitness is the premier operator of high end health club facilities. Despite the economic circumstances, health clubs tend to fare well in tough economies, as members find it a positive outlet that provides entertainment at a reasonable cost.

Despite tight credit markets, LTM will continue to benefit from increases from its recently completed units which have not achieved maturity, as they continue to ramp up to mature unit economics. With this in mind, I expect LTM to observe continued top line growth without additional CapEx.

The company also enjoys a sound balance sheet.

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Member Avatar Zeti (< 20) Submitted: 1/23/2009 6:52:46 PM : Underperform Start Price: $15.53 LTM Score: -98.91

While I agree with the fundamental ideal of being a "go-getter" that this society is founded upon, I see no real future for a business such as this in the economic collapse that is about to occur. The only real excuse for not sensing the eventual distruction of this company is congenital idiocy!

While I agree with the arguments about our nation's obesity problem, wake up and smell the coffee, lard ass!! I'm not sure if you've waddled over to this side of the boat yet, but we're all heading for an iceberg!

Continuing to expand with a business model built upon debt-laden expanison, relying upon discretionary-spending, into a contracting economy, is a brilliant plan if one happens to be a masochist.

I think one of the reasons their attendance hasn't fallen yet are people giving their complexes (which sound like they're great) the Old Auld Sang! Thanks for the free money though!!!

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Member Avatar tsperbeck (99.65) Submitted: 1/22/2009 2:30:35 PM : Underperform Start Price: $15.75 LTM Score: -94.43

Not a good environment to grow membership. Everyday.

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Member Avatar UndatheRadar (< 20) Submitted: 1/21/2009 11:48:06 PM : Underperform Start Price: $14.41 LTM Score: -121.00

Great facilities, bad economy.

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Member Avatar gaiachild (76.99) Submitted: 1/15/2009 9:19:10 PM : Underperform Start Price: $13.97 LTM Score: -141.23

Discretionary purchase
Highly leveraged
\IMHO As oil runs out, people will get more exercise bicycling , planting trees and working the land, dancing, doing yoga, having sex and other great carbon free activities that that re-connect us with the joy of life.

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Member Avatar JTHokie (55.83) Submitted: 1/2/2009 12:59:43 PM : Underperform Start Price: $13.46 LTM Score: -169.50

I'm going with Citron research on this one--too much debt and too little income--over $1000 debt PER member. I can buy a lifetime membership to 24-hour fitness for around that much.

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Member Avatar CashonDelivery (< 20) Submitted: 12/28/2008 3:23:08 PM : Underperform Start Price: $12.00 LTM Score: -204.13

The Cirton report brought this POS company onto my radar. After looking into the company, I agree it's terrible. They're generating most cash flow from sale-leaseback transactions, but they only have so many properties and I don't see the real estate market for huge fitness centers improving greatly, especially if the purchasing parties have concerns about the long-term viability of their new lease tenent. Coupled with declining utilization by members, this company is the walking dead.

Disclaimer: Yep, I'm holding some put options on this POS.

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