Because People Gotta Eat: 3 Attractive Dividend-Paying Food Stocks

Includes: BGS, CALM, FLO
by: Mitchell Harris

I love food, but more importantly I like food stocks, but mostly I like food stocks that are paying substantially higher yields than any bond or Treasury out there. Here are 3 of my favorites right now. Bon Appetit!

B&G Foods, Inc--(NYSE:BGS) together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture, sale, and distribution of shelf-stable foods in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It offers shelf-stable Mexican food, which includes taco shells, tortillas, seasonings, dinner kits, taco sauces, peppers, refried beans, salsas, and related food products; maple syrups, gourmet salad dressings, sugar free syrups, marinades, fruit syrups, confections, pancake mixes, and organic products; fruit-based spreads and jarred wet spices, such as chopped garlic and oregano; and hot cereals, shelf-stable pickles, peppers, relishes, olives, and other related specialty items.

In the past 6 months the stock has been moving higher, while paying a 4.3% dividend. They are also in acquisition mode, buying Mrs. Dash, Molly McButter, Sugar Twin, Baker’s Joy, Static Guard and Kleen Guard from Unilever for $325 million. These names will fit in well with their current brand roster: Cream of Wheat cereal, Accent, Ortega salsa, Polaner jellies and B&M baked beans. The clincher for me is B&G Foods Inc.’s rating on the Governance Risk Indicator (GRI®) as of Nov 1, 2011: Audit (Low Concern), Board (Low Concern), Compensation (High Concern), Shareholder Rights (Low Concern). I know the stock has had a heck of a run, but it's very solid.

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc--(NASDAQ:CALM) engages in the production, grading, packaging, distribution, and marketing of shell eggs. It also produces and markets specialty shell eggs, including nutritionally enhanced, cage free, and organic eggs under the Egg-Land's Best, Farmhouse, and 4-Grain brand names. It also offers private label specialty shell eggs. The company markets its shell eggs through its distribution network to various customers comprising national and regional grocery store chains, club stores, foodservice distributors, and egg product manufacturers.

I know it may seem like a 1 horse race, being in the egg business, but the chart is great, they have $178 million in cash ($7.40 a share) and a tidy 2.5% dividend. They sell an Omega 3 and organic brand of egg as well, so that is appealing to the health conscious customer base. Revenue in September jumped 28% and Zacks has them rated as a Buy. They aren't a huge company, less than a billion market cap, they could be picked off by a bigger player.

Flowers Foods, Inc--(NYSE:FLO) produces and markets bakery products in the United States. It operates in two segments, Direct-Store-Delivery (DSD) and Warehouse Delivery. The DSD segment produces and markets fresh and frozen packaged bread and rolls, tortillas, sandwich rounds, thin sliced bagels, and whole grain white bread under the brand names of Flowers Foods, Nature's Own, Whitewheat, Cobblestone Mill, Blue Bird, ButterKrust, Dandee, Mary Jane, Evangeline Maid, Ideal, Captain John Derst, Country Hearth, and Nature's Grain. This segment also markets regional franchised brands, such as Sunbeam, Roman Meal, Bunny, Holsum, and Aunt Hattie's. The Warehouse Delivery segment produces and sells snack cakes for sale to co-pack, retail, and vending customers, as well as frozen bread, rolls, buns, and tortillas to national retail and foodservice customers.

This isn't a household name but I like the chart, its moving well in the past 3 months, it pays 3%, and had nice earnings a few weeks ago, with sales rising 13%, and gross margins of 45%. They also acquired Tasty Bake for $35 million which spreads their product mix in the Mid-Atlantic. We all know commodities are girating and that will have an impact on all food companies, but this off-the-radar's stock is having a good year compared to its peers.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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