Basic Food Fund Reshuffles Its Components

by: Mark Krieger

The "BFF" index has replaced SCS, PBY and JBLU with the following food related equities: LUB, FLO and DLM. The reshuffling, which was clearly overdue will present an index much more representative of the food sector. The old index finished at $141.55, and the new index starts at $157.74. The new index will include 14 equities.

Component highlights

BRID: The snack food purveyor keeps making higher highs and higher lows as it approaches fresh four year highs. A challenge of the $10 area by midsummer seems plausible.

CKR: The burger chain catering to young hungry males has been powering forward with the help of such celebrities as Jim Cramer touting the shares as well as red hot super model Padma Lakshmi pitching the brand. Feltl’s & Company’s initiation of research coverage with a buy recommendation hasn’t hurt matters either.

LUB: The cafeteria chain laid an egg when it reported third quarter results that included a 10% drop in sales. The good news is, despite the poor sales, management was successful in controlling its costs as its gross margin decreased only 70 basis points from 14.3% to 13.6%. The shares took a drubbing and now look ready to move higher.

FLO: The company recently increased its dividend by 17% as well as received a buy rating from KeyBanc Capital Markets. The shares have lately rallied 5% from fresh 52 week lows.

GAP: The grocery chain took more than a 33% hit to its share price after posting disappointing fourth quarter results, however its stock has since stabilized and has actually climbed almost 20% from its previous lows. Clearly an oversold situation.

SVU: The company increased its dividend 1.45% as well as announced a new $70 million share buyback plan. The grocer also announced the retirement of its CEO, Jeff Noodle.

SWY: Although the shares have taken a beating lately, upgrades from Jefferies & Co as well as Credit Suisse have stopped the bleeding- evidenced by a 10% climb from its May low’s. Recent insider purchases by Janet Grove and Mohan Gyani are encouraging.

WINN: The regional grocery chain has been in overdrive lately. A blowout third quarter earnings report along with an upgrade from FBR Capital has been the catalyst for a 40% appreciation clip since April.

SFD: Despite two broker downgrades since April, the shares have defied gravity by rocketing up almost 50%. I guess the fundamentals of the protein sector are indeed improving.

TSN: A KeyBanc upgrade coupled with an improving outlook of the poultry business has driven the shares more than 35% higher in the past three months. A test of the $15 area by midsummer is in the cards.

IPSU: The sugar producer just announced it has resumed bulk sugar production at its Port Wentworth refinery .It also plans to begin its packaging operations by fall. BWS Financial apparently liked the news and upgraded its opinion from a hold to a buy. The shares have been sizzling too, nearly doubling from the low $6’s in late April.

DLM: The company posted stellar fourth quarter results, provided upbeat 2010 guidance and increased its dividend 25%, it’s no wonder the shares are in new 52 week high territory.

CAG: The company announced that an explosion at its “Slim Jim” plant will not have a material impact on earnings and that insurance proceeds will cover the accident.

SLE: Jim Cramer put SLE on his “wall of shame”, stating the CEO has tried, but failed to turn the company around, while shares of its competitors have been rising. This could be good news, especially if you look at Cramer’s opinion as a contrary indicator. He is probably wrong, just as many times as he is right, although you have to admit he is quite an entertainer.