Planet Fitness Climbs After Lawmakers Pass Tax Break For Gym Memberships

Shares of Planet Fitness (PLNT) are higher on Thursday after U.S lawmakers passed tax breaks for gym memberships. Shares are also benefiting from an analyst note out yesterday. Planet Fitness franchises and operates fitness centers under the Planet Fitness name. It operates in three segments: Franchise, Corporate-Owned Stores, and Equipment.

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TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR HEALTH: A special panel of the House of Representatives advanced a bipartisan bill on Thursday that would allow taxpayers to claim deductions for gym memberships, fitness classes and other workout expenses to promote a healthy lifestyle. "Americans should have the ability to save and spend their health care dollars the way they want and need," said House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, according to a report from the Washington Examiner. According to media reports, the legislation would give individuals a $500 allowance on gym memberships and other sports and fitness expenses.

ANALYST LIKES BALANCE SHEET: Piper Jaffray analyst Peter Keith raised his price target for Planet Fitness to $51 following the company's announced debt refinance. Importantly, Planet Fitness will likely use an increased cash position to begin repurchasing stock as early as Q4, Keith told investors in a research note on Wednesday. The analyst said he finds it reasonable that the company can repurchase $400M-$900M of stock in 2019 or 10%-20% of its market capitalization. He reiterated an Overweight rating on the shares.

PRICE ACTION: Shares of Planet Fitness are up 3.1% or $1.40 to $46.59 in afternoon trading.

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