Beverage Industry: Which Stock To Buy?

by: Jefferson Ridge

The beverage industry is great. People tend to have strong opinions and ingrained purchasing habits. This allows companies to build a wide moat and impose price increases - ultimately providing earnings and dividend growth to investors. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is the classic example of this pattern playing out. The company has grown earnings and dividends at an impressive pace over the last 50 years. Which stocks in the beverage industry are attractive today? Let's take a look at my snapshot to find out:

Snapshot of Beverage Industry
Ticker Name Div Yield (%) Div. Pay (%) Mkt Cap ($bn) Debt / EBITDA FY1 P/E FY2 P/E FY3 P/E
(NYSE:SAM) Boston Beer Company 0.0% N/A $1.2 -0.4x 31.9x 28.7x 25.3x
(NYSE:TAP) Molson Coors 2.9% 33.3% $6.8 0.7x 11.3x 10.9x 10.4x
(NYSE:BUD) AB Inbev 1.8% 33.6% $142.7 2.2x 19.1x 17.4x 15.4x
(NASDAQ:BREW) Brewer's Alliance 0.0% N/A $0.1 0.0x 42.9x 30.7x 22.6x
(NYSE:DPS) Dr. Pepper Snapple 3.1% 46.0% $9.3 1.5x 15.1x 13.9x 12.8x
Coca Cola 2.8% 50.8% $165.0 1.1x 18.3x 16.8x 15.4x
(NYSE:PEP) PepsiCo 3.1% 52.9% $108.1 1.8x 17.2x 15.8x 14.6x

At first glance it is evident that the beer industry (the top 4 companies on the list) screen slightly more expensive than the non-alcoholic beverage group. The real anomaly on this chart is Molson Coors. It has the lowest P/E over the next three years (based on consensus estimates), a reasonable Debt/EBITDA metric, and strong dividend yield. The payout ratio is lower than the other dividend payers and with less debt. It is a surprisingly small company for how well its brands are known, and has room to grow in taking market share from AB Inbev (Budweiser). Further, has increased the dividend at a 14.9% CAGR over the last 5 years.

In 2006, earned $2.13/share. Last year, the company provided $3.76. This is a CAGR of 12%. The dividend has grown slightly faster, as previously mentioned, at a 14.9% CAGR.

The company earns 55-60% of revenues in Canada, 35-40% in the UK, 2% in the USA, and the remainder in the rest of the world. The US market is definitely an area of growth that should translate into solid earnings growth in future years.

In summary, Molson Coors is attractively valued, has a strong balance sheet, and has a history of rewarding shareholders through increasing dividends. What do you think? Is a buy today?

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in TAP over the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.