The consumer discretionary sector consists of companies selling goods and services that are considered non-essential, and are purchased if consumers have sufficient incomes. These products include automobiles, durable goods, apparel, and entertainment. Companies within the consumer discretionary sector are dependent on consumer incomes, making them sensitive to the business cycle. They include companies such as Nike Inc. (NKE), Ford Motor Co. (F), and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT). By contrast, the consumer staples sector includes companies that sell essential, non-cyclical items such as food and beverages. Consumer discretionary stocks, as represented by the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY), have slightly underperformed the broader market, providing investors with a total return of -15.2% compared to the S&P 500's total return of -13.5% over the past 12 months. These market performance numbers and the statistics in the tables below are as of March 24.

Here are the top 3 consumer discretionary stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Consumer Discretionary Stocks

These are the consumer discretionary stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Consumer Discretionary Stocks

 

Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) 9.67 2.1 2.2
MGM Resorts International (MGM) 9.15 4.5 2.3
Macy's Inc. (M 4.81 1.5 2.6

Source: YCharts

  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings offers a variety of cruise itineraries to customers around the world through its fleet of cruise ships. On March 13, the company announced that it was voluntarily suspending all departures across its three cruise brands through April 11 as a result of COVID-19.
  • MGM Resorts International: MGM is a holding company that, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates casino resorts. The company's resorts offer gaming, hotel, convention, dining, entertainment, retail, and other resort amenities. In mid-March, as a result of ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19, MGM announced the temporary closure of resort properties in Detroit, Las Vegas, and several additional locations.
  • Macy's Inc.: Macy's is a department store retailer that sells a wide range of merchandise, including apparel, accessories, cosmetics, home furnishings, and other consumer goods.

Fastest Growing Consumer Discretionary Stocks

These are the consumer discretionary stocks with the highest year-over-year (YOY) earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.

Fastest Growing Consumer Discretionary Stocks

         

Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%)
Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG 15.34 2.3 2,860
Hasbro Inc. (HAS) 51.87 7.1 2,770
Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) 50.85 7.1 372.7

Source: YCharts

  • Harley-Davidson Inc.: Harley-Davidson engages in the manufacture and sale of custom, cruiser, and touring motorcycles. In addition to manufacturing motorcycles and related parts, and offering related services, the company also provides financing and insurance-related programs to Harley-Davidson dealers and their retail customers.
  • Hasbro Inc.: Hasbro designs, manufactures, and markets toys, games, interactive software, puzzles, and infant products. Some of the company's brands include Monopoly, My Little Pony, Nerf, Play-Doh, and Transformers. In February, Hasbro announced that it had extended a merchandising relationship with Walt Disney Co. (DIS) on products related to Star Wars and Marvel franchises.
  • Expedia Group Inc.: Expedia provides online travel services for leisure and small business travelers. The company provides a range of travel shopping and reservation services, including real-time access to schedule, pricing, and availability information for airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. As a result of uncertainty surrounding the impact of COVID-19 on global travel, Expedia announced in March that it would withdraw its 2020 guidance.

Consumer Discretionary Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the consumer discretionary stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months. Note that not all of the stocks in this list have posted positive total returns, but these companies have performed the best in this regard in spite of the bear market.

Consumer Discretionary Stocks with the Most Momentum

               

             

         

          

         

Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Tiffany & Co. (TIF) 121.67 14.8 20.5
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) 1,902.83 947.3 7.8
Ball Corp. (BLL) 51.94 16.9 -9.6
S&P 500 (SPY) N/A N/A -13.5
Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) N/A N/A -15.2

Source: YCharts

  • Tiffany & Co.: Tiffany & Co. is a designer, maker, and distributor of high-end jewelry products. The company offers products designed for both men and women and to customers around the world. In Q4 2019, Tiffany reported worldwide net sales of $1.4 billion, a 3% increase year-over-year.
  • Amazon.com Inc.: Online retailer Amazon.com offers a range of products across many areas, as well as a platform for buyers and sellers to connect. The company also offers streaming media, cloud computing, and various other services as well.
  • Ball Corp.: Ball Corp. provides metal packaging and similar products to a variety of clients across the food, beverage, and household product industries. The company also serves government and aerospace clients. Earlier this month, Ball Corp. announced that it was the first maker of aluminum cans to receive certification to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative standards, a key sustainability milestone.