Over the years, Oprah's Favorite Things gift list has catapulted small companies and given already-established businesses a healthy helping of PR. And then, of course, there are the product sales. When Oprah gives something her stamp of approval, consumers stampede to the checkout counter.
This year will be no exception. Go ahead and ogle the list, even if a $250 pair of opera-length leather gloves or a $2,900 watch aren't in your budget. Behind the gewgaws, gadgets, and culinary indulgences are publicly traded companies that could see their share prices get a boost from being named as one of Oprah's favorites.
1. Deckers Outdoors : Uggs have been derided as a fad for years, but Oprah declares that, "Uggs are still the warmest boots I own." And she loves the company's Genevieve Ugg boots for $300. The company has certainly warmed up Whitney Tilson's portfolio. He bought Deckers at the beginning of 2013 and has seen it rise from a 52-week low of $29.60 to $72.10.
2. Starbucks : Not that Starbucks needs a boost from Oprah, trading near 52-week highs of $82.50, up 60% on the year, and reporting a great third quarter. But Oprah and main squeeze Stedman enjoy their morning chai from Starbucks-owned Teavana, especially the Maharaja Chai Oolong at $13 per 2 ounces.So watch out coffee companies, tea consumption just got an Oprah Boost.
3. Bed Bath & Beyond: T-Fal's ActiFry is a french fry fryer that can fry four servings of fries in a tablespoon of oil. Oprah praised the $250 fryer, "A truly low-fat french fry! Heaven has arrived." Although TFal is a privately-held company, Oprah suggests online site BedBathandBeyond.com as the way to acquire the fryer. Bed Bath & Beyond is up 30% over the last year and is considered safer from showrooming than many other retailers with its 20% off coupons and cheaper prices than other big box and virtual retailers. At a P/E of 16.19, Bed Bath & Beyond is a buy here.
4. Amazon.com : An avid book lover and author booster, it's no surprise to find Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite e-reader on Oprah's list. She touts the screen's glare-free capability in the sun and ease of reading indoors. At $119 this is one of the more affordable items on Oprah's favorite things list. She also suggests buying the orange leather cover available from Amazon. Amazon's share price doesn't really need any nudging from Oprah, up 50% in the last year, but EPS could use a boost, as the company trades at a trailing earnings multiple of 1281.76.
5. Williams-Sonoma: Williams-Sonoma nabbed two spots on the list of favorites this year. Oprah is "so sold" on Williams-Sonoma's newest brand of Mark & Graham's leather and cashmere gloves (opera length available for $250). The company has been venturing outside its comfort zone of cookware and Pottery Barn home furnishings with this new brand of monogrammable gifts and accessories. The other item that caught Oprah's eye was a set of malachite boxes ($49 to $79) from the company's West Elm brand. The stock has underperformed the S&P 500 this year and the P/E is elevated at 51.05, but it does offer a yield of 2.3%. The stock is well off its 52-week high of $61.56.
: Samsung wowed Oprah with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. "At last, a polite way to check calls, texts, and emails when you're in a meeting," Oprah gushed, explaining that the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch discreetly notifies you when you've got an incoming message, so long as the watch is within a five-foot radius of your Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. The two items together run $1,000. Samsung beat both Apple
to bring this wearable tech to market. But, as Motley Fool analyst Jamal Carnette noted
, initial reaction to it has been much more tepid than Oprah's review. Perhaps the Oprah endorsement will give Samsung's smartwatch the boost it needs. Samsung has an $189.77 billion market cap and a 7.86 P/E. Still, it has underperformed the S&P 500 and is only up 16% in the last year.
7. Clorox : Clorox makes the Burts Bees Baby bibs that Oprah says,"the well-dressed baby is wearing this season." The three bibs go for $79, but with the code OPRAH are 20% off. Clorox is trading at a 52-week high of $92.01 and offers a 3.1% yield at a trailing earnings multiple of 20.77. This defensive stalwart got a bargain in Burts Bees in 2007 when it bought the company for $925 million.
8. Target: Oprah thinks the Modern House wines available at Target are the perfect gift for the holiday hostess. She loves the witty labels that say Expensive, With Love, or Here's to You. The proprietary Napa reds are only $13 each. The wines are an example of what sets big-box retailer Target apart from rival Wal-Mart. Target's emphasis on style and uniqueness has kept it performing well in a challenged retail environment. Not only are the wines a bargain, but so is the stock, trading at a 15.61 trailing earnings multiple with a 2.7% yield.
9. Swatch Group: At $2,900 the Rado True Thinline watch is one of the priciest items on Oprah's list. Ironic that it comes from the company that revolutionized low-end, affordable plastic fashion watches. Rado is just one of Swatch's high end watch brands, alongside Harry Winston and Breguet. Despite a $19.4 billion market cap, it is thinly traded but up over 40% on the year and close to its 52-week high of $33.06. With rival Fossil reporting good numbers, Swatch Group might be worth a look.
10. Ulta Salon, Cosmetics, and Fragrance : While Oprah doesn't specifically mention Ulta, one of her favorite things is available at Ulta: the ButterLondon nail polishes for $65. Ulta is another stock trading at 52-week highs at $131.99. It's up 40% over the last year, but is the play on the beauty consumer. Its trailing earnings multiple is high at 44.73, but its Ulta rewards program is the reason consumers buy products at Ulta rather than a department or drugstore.
One more company to add to your shopping list
Oprah's great at spotting -- and starting -- trends. And maybe even picking stocks, too, since one of the companies she mentions in her favorite things list happens to be one of our two favorite retailers. Take a look at The Motley Fool's special free report: "The Death of Wal-Mart: The Real Cash Kings Changing the Face of Retail." In it, you'll see how these two cash kings are able to consistently outperform and how they're planning to ride the waves of retail's changing tide. You can access it by clicking here.
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.