1. They make and sell booze. Although beer sales have been flat the trend towards drinking spirits doesn't seem to be subsiding anywhere in the world.
2. They are a nice hedge to a dollar based portfolio. Diageo is a global company and sells liquor brands like Smirnoff, Johnny Walker, Guinness and Cuervo all over the world. They are not stuck with only European or US trends. DEO is an ADR, the ordinary shares trade in the UK and are more pushed by those markets than the US. If the US Dollar falls, DEO will rise. (Conversely if the dollar rises, these ADRs will fall).
3. China is growing and consuming more of all things high end and branded.
5. A yummy 4% Dividend Yield.
6. At a forward P/E of 14.5 , I get a relatively cheap Valuation for a premium beverage company in growing markets.
7. Some downside protection. After all, even in a recession people still have vices like drink.
DEO 1-yr chart:
*Makers Mark is not a Diageo Brand.
Disclosure: I purchased Diageo (DEO) today and last week. Price = $72.41. I own Diageo ADRs and may purchase more in the upcoming weeks. I drink Guinness and Harp (But never in the same glass). While I admire the market segmentation created with the rainbow, I do not enjoy Johnny Walker of any color (Blue, Black, Gold, Green, Red or otherwise). I think Tanqueray Gin is good with tonic but would never put it in a martini.