These five consumer non-cyclical stocks have positive catalysts for future growth, perform well under all macro-economic conditions (i.e. U.S. debt crisis/euro Issues), have above industry average profit margins and above industry average Price to Sales ratio. During times of market fluctuations Warren Buffett says, “Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.”
These are bullish indicators regarding a stock's possible future performance. Robust profit and sales margins are traits of notable names. Moreover, most of these stocks are trading well below consensus analysts’ estimates. Several have recent upgrades and positive analyst comments. Nonetheless, this is only the first step in finding winners for a portfolio. Let's take a closer look to distinguish the driving factors behind these remarkable statistics and ensure the stories are intact.
Below is a table with detailed statistics regarding each company’s current summary information followed by a brief review of each company, detailed current analysts' estimates and up/downgrade activity followed by a chart of the company's key statistics.
Click to enlarge
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) manufactures, distributes and markets non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups worldwide.
The Coca-Cola Company recently reported strong second quarter and year-to-date 2011 operating results, meeting or exceeding long-term growth targets and gaining volume and value share in total NARTD beverages. Reported worldwide volume grew 6% in both the quarter and year-to-date. Excluding new cross-licensed brands in North America, primarily Dr. Pepper brands, worldwide volume grew 5% in the quarter and year-to-date. The company achieved broad-based volume growth in the quarter across each of its five geographic operating groups, with growth of 7% in Eurasia and Africa, 7% in Pacific, 6% in Latin America, 5% in Europe, and 4% in North America. Excluding new cross-licensed brands, North America volume was even in the quarter and grew 1% year-to-date.
The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Coca-Cola has a median price target of $77 by 15 brokers and a high target of $95. The last up/downgrade activity was on March 4, 2010, when UBS upgraded the company from Neutral to Buy.
Mead Johnson Nutrition Company (NYSE:MJN) manufactures, distributes and sells infant formulas, children’s nutritional products and other nutritional products in Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.
Mead Johnson Nutrition’s net sales for the quarter ended June 30, 2011 totaled $932.0 million, up 22% from $764.2 million a year ago. Sales benefited 17% from volume, 4% from foreign exchange and 1% from price. Earnings before interest and income taxes ((EBIT)) for the second quarter totaled $203.7 million, up 18% from $172.9 million a year earlier. The EBIT increase was primarily due to higher sales and improved gross margins, partially offset by increased demand-generation investments, stand-alone IT platform implementation costs and accruals for performance-based compensation.
Chief Executive Officer Stephen W. Golsby said:
"We are very pleased with our strong sales and earnings performance in the second quarter. Our emerging markets business continued to deliver exceptional growth, led by China/Hong Kong and our markets in Latin America. It is clear that our investments in advertising and promotion, geographic expansion and product innovation are bearing fruit. We also saw significant sales growth in the U.S. driven by market share gains. We will face headwinds in the second half of the year from significantly higher commodity costs and more challenging comparisons with the prior year, but I'm pleased with the positive momentum in the business."
The company is trading on par with analysts' estimates. Mead Johnson has a median price target of $72 by 11 brokers and a high target of $77. The last up/downgrade activity was on Jun 13, 2011, when William Blair initiated coverage on the company with an Outperform rating.
Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY), together with its subsidiaries, engages in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing various chocolate and confectionery products, pantry items and gum and mint refreshment products worldwide.
The Hershey Company recently announced sales and earnings for the second quarter ended July 3, 2011. Consolidated net sales were $1,325,171,000 compared with $1,233,242,000 for the second quarter of 2010. Reported net income for the second quarter of 2011 was $130,019,000 or $0.56 per share-diluted, compared with $46,723,000 or $0.20 per share-diluted for the comparable period of 2010.
The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Hershey has a median price target of 62 by 11 brokers and a high target of $65. The last up/downgrade activity was on May 12, 2011, when Argus upgraded the company from Hold to Buy.
Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP) brews, markets, sells and distributes beer brands. It sells its products in Canada, under the Coors Light, Molson, Rickard's Red, Carling, Pilsner, Keystone Light, Creemore Springs, and Granville Island brands.
Molson Coors recently declared a regular quarterly dividend on its Class A and Class B common shares of 32 cents per share, payable September 15, 2011, to shareholders of record on August 31, 2011. The quarterly dividend is payable to holders of Class A and Class B common stock of Molson Coors Brewing Company. In addition, Molson Coors Canada Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of MCBC, declared a quarterly dividend of approximately CDN $0.31 (the Canadian dollar equivalent of the dividend declared on Molson Coors stock), payable September 15, 2011, to its Class A and Class B exchangeable shareholders of record on August 31, 2011.
The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Molson Coors has a median price target of 48 by nine brokers and a high target of $51. The last up/downgrade activity was on Jun 13, 2011, when Stifel Nicolaus downgraded the company from Buy to Hold.
Darling International Inc. (NYSE:DAR) provides rendering, recycling and recovery solutions to the food industry worldwide. It operates in two segments, Rendering and Restaurant Services.
Darling International recently announced that Diamond Green Diesel LLC, its previously announced joint venture project with Valero Energy Corporation, has secured financing for the planned construction of its renewable diesel facility in Norco, Louisiana. Financing will be provided internally by a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corporation.
The company is trading below analysts' estimates. Darling has a median price target of $20 by nine brokers and a high target of $21. The last up/downgrade activity was on May 16, 2011, when Morgan Joseph upgraded the company from Hold to Buy.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.