Aug 12, 2019

Planet Fitness' stock looks fatigued

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

After a rocket rise over the past five years during which it jumped from $17.81 a share in August 2015 to more than $75 a share in April, Planet Fitness' stock has been unimpressive in recent months. It sold off after the company beat earnings expectations Tuesday but missed on expected growth.

What's happening: Concern is beginning to grow about the sustainability of the company's business model, which relies on consistently bringing in members who don't actually use the gym and churning out increasing revenue from franchisees, the Wall Street Journal's Spencer Jakab writes.

  • "Planet Fitness makes much of its money by keeping 7% of membership fees paid to franchisees, who control over 95% of its gyms. It raised its take from 5% back in 2017. No small part of its growth in the past couple of years has reflected this increase in what it charges," per Jakab.
  • "While franchisees keep showing up, though, there are limits to how high the parent company can take the fee without choking off growth," he writes.

Go deeper: Ex-Twitter CEO is shutting down his fitness startup

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The stock market is running out of reasons to go higher

Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Stocks jumped on Monday as investors bought optimism that a U.S.-China trade deal could be salvaged, despite a lack of tangible evidence that progress is being made.

The state of play: The market will need the animal spirits of trade-war hope, because many of the fundamental catalysts that have buoyed stock prices in years past are starting to unravel.

Go deeperArrowAug 27, 2019

The Athletic is experimenting with free content

The Athletic, a subscription-based digital sports media company, will begin experimenting with putting some of its audio content in front of its paywall in an effort to expand its audience, a source familiar with the plans tells Axios.

What's new: The company will start by offering one episode a week to non-subscribers in front of the paywall and one behind. The goal is to offer people who might be less likely subscribe to The Athletic the ability to sample some of company's content.

Go deeperArrowAug 27, 2019

The cost of the "strong" U.S. economy

Data: Bureau of the Fiscal Service; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Despite massive amounts of money being pumped into the economy by both fiscal and monetary policy, U.S. growth is slowing, not accelerating.

Why it matters: Last year Congress signed a 2-year agreement to increase spending $300 billion, in part to pull the economy out of its slow-growth malaise following the financial crisis and put the U.S. back on track for 3% annual growth or higher.

Go deeperArrowAug 13, 2019