Jan. 8, 2014, 8:23 AM
- Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg has issued a final ruling ordering Sherwin-Williams (SHW), NL Industries (NL) and ConAgra Grocery Products (CAG) to pay $1.15B to replace or contain lead paint in millions of homes in California.
- The verdict is $50M above Kleinberg's tentative ruling, which he made in December. ConAgra said at the time that it planned to appeal.
- The case was brought by 10 city and county governments in California, whose argument was that the lead is harmful to children. The substance has been banned in residential paint since 1978.
Jan. 7, 2014, 6:38 AM
- Despite lagging the S&P 500, food stocks had a strong year in 2013. We believe investors should remain selective in their allocation of capital by placing a greater emphasis on stock picking.
- Overall, in terms of themes for our packaged food/beverage coverage universe in 2014, we expect sluggish but gradually improving food volume trends, increased promotional intensity (funded by easing commodity costs and retailers fighting for traffic share) and a relatively active M&A environment.
- Accordingly, we prefer companies with solid organic growth prospects [Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR); Amira Nature Foods (ANFI); J & J Snack Foods Corp. (JJSF)], exposure to declining commodity costs [GMCR; Hormel Foods (HRL); The J.M. Smucker Company (SJM); Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO)], exposure to company specific margin enhancing opportunities [FLO; GMCR, ConAgra Foods (CAG)] and ability to benefit from accretive M&A (SJM, JJSF and CAG).
- On the non-branded part of our coverage universe, Ingredion (INGR) is our top pick followed by Tyson Foods (TSN) and Dean Foods (DF).
Jan. 2, 2014, 11:58 AM
- Frozen food sellers plan to increase the marketing of their produce products this year as they try to drive home with consumers that they are a time-saving alternative to buying fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Myth-busting: Despite the stigma of buying frozen, in some cases more nutrients are locked into frozen veggies and fruits than fresh produce which has sat on trucks or in stores for days or weeks.
- The popularity of smoothies and home juicing has pushed up sales of frozen fruit over the last year.
- Related companies: CAG, NSRGY, GIS, DOLE, PF.
Dec. 19, 2013, 3:02 PM
- The rally in shares have ConAgra (CAG +5.6%) following its vibrant earnings report prompts S&P Capital IQ to move its rating down to Buy from Strong Buy with some of the upside getting priced in lickety-split.
- The investment firm thinks ConAgra received a little benefit from the timing of certain items which landed nicely in FQ2, but put FQ3 at risk of falling short.
Dec. 19, 2013, 9:58 AM
- ConAgra (CAG +5.3%) rallies after recording a tidy FQ2 earnings beat and issuing reassuring guidance.
- The company received a meaningful boost from the acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings during the period.
- There is a "cautious" tone from ConAgra about the near term due to some pricing and volume conditions in the industry.
Dec. 19, 2013, 7:32 AM
Dec. 19, 2013, 12:05 AM
Dec. 18, 2013, 5:30 PM
Dec. 17, 2013, 10:37 AM
- ConAgra (CAG -1.4%) fires back on the proposed decision from the Supreme Court of California on the issue of lead paint contamination with an immediate notice that it will appeal the $1.1B damages award.
- The company hasn't made much of its argument that it isn't in the paint business. ConAgra's liability dates back to its ties to paint manufacturer W.P. Fuller & Co. through its purchase of Beatrice Company.
- Shares are lower after the initial award came in higher than anticipated.
Dec. 17, 2013, 2:08 AM
- Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg has tentatively ordered Sherwin-Williams (SHW), NL Industries (NL) and ConAgra Grocery Products (CAG) to pay $1.1B to replace or contain lead paint in millions of homes in California.
- However, Kleinberg dismissed the claims against two other defendants, BP (BP) unit Atlantic Richfield and DuPont (DD).
- The case was brought by 10 city and county governments in California, which argued that the lead is harmful to children. The substance has been banned in residential paint since 1978.
Dec. 11, 2013, 5:38 PM
Dec. 10, 2013, 1:31 PM
- Wheat prices could fall as world reserves are forecast to exceed previous expectations.
- Global inventories before the start of the 2014 harvests in the Northern Hemisphere will be 2.4% higher than a year ago.
- Wheat futures for delivery next spring touched their lowest level since June 2012 earlier today.
- Related stocks: General Mills (GIS), PepsiCo (PEP), Campbell Soup (CPB), Post Holdings (POST), ConAgra (CAG), Ralcorp (RAH), Flower Foods (FLO), and J.M. Smucker (SJM) could see a minor impact from sustained lower wheat prices. The pricing of the commodity also spills over to affect the costs for companies farther removed from the food industry - including Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) and Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD).
- Related ETF: WEAT
Dec. 3, 2013, 10:33 AM
Nov. 12, 2013, 3:49 PM
- The elevation of gluten as a dietary no-no continues to affect packaged food companies which have to convert products into gluten-free varieties at additional costs.
- Though less than 1% of Americans require a gluten-free diet due to medical reasons, almost a third of consumers make the choice to avoid the wheat additive.
- Related stocks: GIS, K, PEP, CPB, POST, CAG, FLO.
Nov. 12, 2013, 9:59 AM
- Margin worries at Dean Foods (DF -7.6%) is affecting sentiment over a number of other packaged foods companies in early trading.
- Though the company warned specifically on the dairy commodity environment, its drop in guidance on Q4 "challenges" looks a bit broader.
- Underperformers: KRFT -0.7%, SJM -1.0%, HAIN -1.0%, CAG -0.5%, CPB -1.0%, TSN -0.6%.
Nov. 4, 2013, 9:42 AM
- Kellogg's (K +2.6%) weak quarter doesn't paint a pretty picture for consumer staples companies highly-exposed to West markets, warn analysts.
- The company saw volume down in key categories such as cereal with higher prices not quite offsetting the drop.
- Despite the sluggish trend, Kellogg and its peer group are mainly trading higher after a large round of job cuts from Kellogg which should improve profitability.
- On watch: General Mills (GIS +0.4%), Campbell Soup (CPB +0.4%), ConAgra Foods (CAG -0.1%), Post Holdings (POST -0.5%).
- Related ETFs: XLP, VDC, FXG, RHS, PSL, PSCC, FSTA
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