Best Beverage Stocks To Buy Right Now

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One of the most difficult investing tasks this year is finding income-producing securities that aren’t trading at elevated levels.

The unfortunate unintended consequence of fiscal stimulus programs is that income investors can no longer rely on bonds or bank-related products to meet their needs. They have been forced into the stock market in search of yield, and this has helped pushed many dividend stocks to high levels. I have increasingly advised investors in need of income to look at alternatives to traditional investments, provided by the private equity industry.

Best Beverage Stocks To Buy Right Now: Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB de CV (FMX)

Fomento Economico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. (FEMSA), incorporated on May 30, 1936, is a holding company. The Company conducts its operations through principal holding companies, each of which it refers to as a principal sub-holding company. These companies are Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B. de C.V. (Coca-Cola FEMSA), which engages in the production, distribution and marketing of soft drinks, and FEMSA Comercio, S.A. de C.V. (FEMSA Comercio), which operates convenience stores. The Company’s convenience store chain OXXO operated a total of 7,492 stores as of March 31, 2010. Compania Internacional de Bebidas, S.A. de C.V. (CIBSA) owns a 53.7% interest in Coca-Cola FEMSA. On April 30, 2010, FEMSA announced the closing of the transaction, pursuant to which FEMSA agreed to exchange 100% of its beer operations conducted by FEMSA Cerveza for a 20% economic interest in the Heineken Group. In February 2009, Coca-Cola FEMSA acquired with The Coca-Cola Company the Brisa bottled water busine ss in Colombia from Bavaria, a subsidiary of SABMiller. Coca-Cola FEMSA acquired the production assets and the rights to distribute in the territory, and The Coca-Cola Company obtained the Brisa brand.

Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B. de C.V.

Coca-Cola FEMSA is a bottler of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Coca-Cola FEMSA operates in various territories, including Mexico, a substantial portion of central Mexico (including Mexico City and the states of Michoacan and Guanajuato) and southeast Mexico (including the Gulf region); Central America, including Guatemala (Guatemala City and surrounding areas), Nicaragua (nationwide), Costa Rica (nationwide) and Panama (nationwide); Colombia; Venezuela; Argentina, including Buenos Aires and surrounding areas, and Brazil, including the area of greater Sao Paulo, Campinas, Santos, the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the state of Minas Gerais and part of the state of Goias.

Coca-Cola FEMSA produces, markets and distributes Coca-Cola trademark beverages, own brands and b! rands licensed from the Company. The Coca-Cola trademark beverages include sparkling beverages (colas and flavored sparkling beverages), water, and still beverages (including juice drinks, ready-to-drink teas and isotonics). Out of the more than 100 brands and line extensions of beverages sold and distributed by Coca-Cola FEMSA, its most important brand, Coca-Cola, together with its line extensions, Coca-Cola light, Coca-Cola Zero and Coca-Cola light caffeine free, accounted for 61.4% of total sales volume during the year ended December 31, 2009. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s next largest brands, Ciel (a water brand from Mexico), Fanta (and its line extensions), Sprite (and its line extensions), ValleFrut and Hit, accounted for 10.5%, 5.8%, 2.6%, 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively, of total sales volume in 2009. Coca-Cola FEMSA uses the term line extensions to refer to the different flavors in which it offers its brands.

Coca-Cola FEMSA produces, markets and distributes Coca-Co la trademark beverages in each of its territories in containers authorized by The Coca-Cola Company, which consist of a variety of returnable and non-returnable presentations in the form of glass bottles, cans and plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephtalate (PET). Coca-Cola FEMSA uses the term presentation to refer to the packaging unit in which it sells its products. Presentation sizes for its Coca-Cola trademark beverages range from a 6.5-ounce personal size to a 3-liter multiple serving size. For all of its products excluding water, Coca-Cola FEMSA considers a multiple serving size as equal toor larger than one liter. In addition, it sells some Coca-Cola trademark beverage syrups in containers designed for soda fountain use, which it refers to as fountain. It also sells bottled water products in bulk sizes, which refers to presentations equal to or larger than five liters, which have a much lower average price per unit case than its other beverage products.

In Mexico, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s product portfolio consis! ts of Coc! a-Cola trademark beverages, and includes Mundet trademark beverages licensed from FEMSA in some Mexican territories. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s product sales in Latincentro consist predominantly of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Per capita consumption of its sparkling beverages products in Colombia and Central America was 92 and 146 eight-ounce servings, respectively, in 2009. Its product portfolio in Venezuela consists of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Sparkling beverages per capita consumption of its products in Venezuela was 174 eight-ounce servings during 2009. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s product portfolio in Mercosur consists mainly of Coca-Cola trademark beverages, and the Kaiser beer brand in Brazil, which Coca-Cola FEMSA sells and distributes on behalf of FEMSA Cerveza. Sparkling beverages per capita consumption of its products in Brazil and Argentina was 214 and 359 eight-ounce servings, respectively, in 2009.

The Company competes with Pepsi Beverage Company, Grupo Em botelladores Unidos, S.A.B. de C.V., Grupo Jumex, Groupe Danone, Cadbury Schweppes, Big Cola, Consorcio AGA, S.A. de C.V., Postobon, Florida Ice and Farm Co. S.A., Cerveceria Nacional, S.A., Pepsi-Cola Venezuela, C.A., AmBev and Quilmes Industrial S.A.

FEMSA Comercio, S.A. de C.V.

FEMSA Comercio operates a chain of convenience stores in Mexico, under the trade name OXXO. OXXO stores are concentrated in the northern part of Mexico, but also have a presence in central Mexico and the Gulf coast. FEMSA Comercio is the largest single customer of FEMSA Cerveza and of the Coca-Cola system in Mexico. During 2009, a typical OXXO store carried 1,954 different store keeping units (SKUs) in 31 main product categories.

The Company competes with 7-Eleven, Super Extra, Super City, Circle-K and AM/PM.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Wolfe]

    Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB de CV (FMX)

    As of the close of the third quarter there were ten guru owners of Fomento Economico Mexicano. These gurus held a combined weighting of 1.99%. During the third quarter, there were four gurus making buys and seven making sells of their stake in FMX.

  • [By Jonas Elmerraji]

    Fomento Economico Mexicano (FMX), better known as FEMSA, isn’t another ascending triangle trade this week, unfortunately for shareholders. Instead, FEMSA is currently forming the bearish opposite of the pattern in Wells Fargo and Citi: a descending triangle.

    The descending triangle is formed by downtrending resistance above shares and a horizontal support level to the downside. In this case, that price floor comes in just below $90. The lower highs that form resistance in FMX signal that buying pressure is waning above the $100 level as long-suffering sellers opt to take gains near the high-end of this stock’s recent range. Once that glut of demand at $90 gets taken out, a lot more downside looks likely for FMX.

    But now, MTB is forming a rounding bottom, a bullish setup that indicates a gradual shift in control of shares from sellers to buyers. The rounding bottom pattern looks exactly like it sounds, and even though MTB’s pattern is actually at the top of its recent range, the trading implications are exactly the same. A breakout above $118 is the signal that the pattern is completed and it’s time to be a buyer.

    With high short interest in MTB right now, a short squeeze could add some fuel to the fire on a breakout. Support looks reasonably strong at $110 — that’s the spot to keep your stop.

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Memberships and Peers: KO is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Dividend Champion. The company’s peer group includes: Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) with a 3.2% yield, Pepsico Inc (PEP) with a 2.6% yield and Fomento Economico ADR (FMX) with a 1.7% yield.

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Memberships and Peers: PEP is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Dividend Champion. The company’s peer group includes: The Coca-Cola Company (KO) with a 2.8% yield, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (DPS) with a 3.2% yield and Fomento Econ (FMX) with a 1.7% yield.

Best Beverage Stocks To Buy Right Now: Molson Coors Brewing Company(TAP)

Molson Coors Brewing Company 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. The company also brews or distributes products under license from third parties, which include Heineken, Amstel Light, Murphy’s, Asahi, Asahi Select, Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Chill, Milwaukee’s Best, Milwaukee’s Best Dry, and Foster’s. In addition, it imports, distributes, and markets the Corona, Coronita, Negra Modelo, and Pacifico brands, through a joint venture agreement with Grupo Modelo. Further, the company sells various brands in the United States, which include Coors Light, Miller Lite, Coors Banquet, Miller Genuine Draft, MGD 64, Miller Chill, Sparks, Miller High Life, Miller High Life Light, Keystone Light, Icehouse, Mickey’s, Milwaukee’s Best, Milwaukee’s Best Light, Old English 800, Blue Moon, Henry Weinhard ‘s, George Killian’s Irish Red, Leinenkugel’s, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell, Grolsch, Coors Non-Alcoholic, and Sharp’s. Additionally, it sells various brands in the United Kingdom comprising Carling, C2, Coors Light, Worthington’s, White Shield, Caffrey’s, Kasteel Cru, and Blue Moon, as well as various regional ale brands. The company also sells the Grolsch brands through a joint venture with Royal Grolsch N.V. and the Cobra brands through a joint venture called Cobra Beer Partnership Ltd.; and distributes brands sold under license, including Corona, Coronita, Negra Modelo, Pacfico, Singha, and Magners Draught Cider. In addition, it markets and sells Zima, Si’hai, Coors Gold, and Coors Extra brands to various international markets. The company was formerly known as Adolph Coors Company and changed its name to Molson Coors Brewing Company as a result of its merger with Molson Inc. in February 2005. Molson Coors Brewing Company was founded in 1873 and is headquarter e d in Denver, Colorado.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Mydlo]

    A recent large insider sell has been from Peter S. Swinburn, President and CEO of Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP). On March 24, 2014, he sold 71,424 shares at an average price of $58.89 per share. The total transaction amount was valued at $4,206,159. Molson Coors manufactures and sells beer and other beverage products.

  • [By BusinessWeek]

    Bud Light may still be America’s best-selling beer — it has been for more than a decade — but retail sales of this and other leading lower-calorie lagers such as Bud Light Lime, Miller Lite, and Natural (aka Natty) Light, declined in 2013, according to data from IRI, a Chicago market research firm. Not that this spells the end of light beers, which still make up a significant chunk of the market. Even as big brewers push into the craft segment, some big-name labels are still experiencing an uptick. Case sales of Coors Light, which became the No. 2 beer brand in the U.S. in 2012, grew nearly 1.8 percent last year, according to IRI. Michelob Ultra Light sales were also up, although it is an outlier in a fast-declining Michelob franchise. “There will always be a place for ‘Big Lager’ as it’s more drinkable in the sense that one can have many lagers but only a few dark beers,” says Euromonitor International analyst Edward Hsyeh. “The dark beers are heavy in body, so there can only be so much ‘share of the stomach’ they possess.” Still, big challenges loom: First, Americans’ growing thirst for darker, more flavorful brews can’t be ignored. Volume sales of lager-a lighter style of beer-have fallen every year since 2009 except 2012, according to Euromonitor’s data, though the vast majority of beer consumed in the U.S. is still lager. Sales of pale ales, on the other hand, were up by 13 percent in 2013 alone, and wheat beer grew by 6 percent. The shift is reflected in the recent craft beer boom (volume sales grew 13 percent in the first half of 2013) in which India Pale Ale has become popular. Second, aside from craft, the big brands are seeing competition from imports, too. Modelo Especial volume sales, for example, more than doubled since 2009, according to IRI, and sales of Corona were up 11 percent. Last, hard ciders and new beer-like varieties such as AB InBev’s (BUD) Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita, which sold more than 7 million cases since launching last

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Molson Coors Brewing Co. (NYSE: TAP), like many beer companies, has seen beer consumption drop in favor of wine and liquor. The only standout in the recent poor numbers was an increase in sales of “above-premium beers.” Despite a new brewer opening up almost every day in the United States, Molson Coors accounts for nearly one of every three additional brews sold at the craft-brew level. Shareholders are paid a 2.7% dividend. Merrill Lynch lifts the price target from $50 to $52. The consensus target is $58.25. The stock closed Friday at $55.02.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Indeed, the diversity in the types of dividend stocks getting more generous made for an interesting week, from network provider Cisco (CSCO) to beer giant Molson Coors (TAP) to package delivery service UPS (UPS).

Best Beverage Stocks To Buy Right Now: WhiteWave Foods Co (WWAV)

WWF Operating Company, incorporated on March 14, 1988, is a consumer packaged food and beverage company. The Company manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and beverages, and dairy products throughout North America and Europe. The Company operates in two segments: North America and Europe. The North America segment offers products in the plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and beverages, and dairy product categories throughout North America. Europe segment offers plant-based food and beverage products throughout Europe. The Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dean Foods Company (Dean Foods).

The Company’s brands distributed in North America include Silk plant-based foods and beverages, International Delight and LAND O LAKES coffee creamers and beverages, and Horizon Organic dairy products, while its European brands of plant-based foods and beverages include Alpro and Provamel. The Compa ny sell its products to a variety of customers, including grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, and convenience stores, as well as various away-from-home channels, including restaurants and foodservice outlets, across North America and Europe. The Company sells its products in North America and Europe primarily through its direct sales force and independent brokers. The Company utilizes five manufacturing plants, two distribution centers, and three co-packers across the United States. Additionally, it has four plants across Europe in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands, each supported by an integrated supply chain.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Pendulum]

    Organic / Health Foods companies:

    Hain Celestial (HAIN)WhiteWave (WWAV)Annie’s

    Best In Class Food Companies:

    Coca-Cola (KO)Pepsico (PEP)Mondelez (MDLZ)Kraft Foods (KRFT)General Mills (GIS)Kellogg (K)ConAgra Foods (CAG)Hershey (HSY)J.M. Smucker (SJM)McCormick (MKC)Dean Foods (DF)

    A few comments about this analysis:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    WhiteWave Foods (NYSE: WWAV  ) , the Dean Foods spinoff whose organic products go out of their way to certify that they avoid being tainted with GMO ingredients, still sells Land o’ Lakes products that contain sucralose.

  • [By Michael Lewis]

    Dairy pure-play Dean Foods (NYSE: DF  ) is flirting with its 52-week high after an encouraging earnings report released earlier this week. As it so often goes in special situations, investors deemed the company relatively uninteresting after a high profile spin-off of plant-based food segment WhiteWave (NYSE: WWAV  ) and divestiture of Morningstar — purveyor of staples such as International Creamer. Skeptics cited declining milk consumption and heavy debt as detractors to the stock, but, post spin-off, Dean Foods is a cash-generating, inexpensive pick in an otherwise difficult sector. With the recent earnings report in mind, let’s take a closer look.

  • [By John Maxfield]

    Meanwhile, the worst-performing stock on the index was Dean Foods (NYSE: DF  ) , which lost more than half of its value. This otherwise disturbing performance followed the company’s spinoff of its organic-foods division, WhiteWave Foods (NYSE: WWAV  ) . As fellow Fool Rich Duprey covered here, each Dean Foods shareholder received 0.25544448 shares of WhiteWave class A stock and 0.36380189 shares of its class B stock for every share of Dean Foods.

Best Beverage Stocks To Buy Right Now: Alkaline Water Company Inc (WTER)

The Alkaline Water Company Inc., formerly Global Lines Inc, incorporated on June 6, 2011, is a developer of electrolysis beverage process, packaged and branded as Alkaline84. Alkaline84 is the Company’s flagship product designed to encourage daily consumption of Alkaline Water through a consumer oriented bulk delivery system. The Company is engaged in the development of a national retail bulk distribution network delivering Electrochemically Activated Water (ECA) to consumers everywhere. The Company is focused on the business of distributing and marketing the retail sale of its packaged Alkaline84 branded beverage products.

Alkaline84 is available in two sizes: three liters and one gallon. Alkaline84 is a pH balanced bottled alkaline drinking water enhanced with 84 trace minerals and electrolytes. Alkaline84 is available for consumer sales at a number of major retail locations across the southwestern United States.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    The initial thought may be that it’s a bit of an awkward sales venue. The more one thinks about it – and digs – the more this relationship makes sense. And if you did really deep into the details (into a philosophical level), a “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” scenario surfaces. What’s this not-really-unusual relationship? The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (OTCBB:WTER) is now selling its Alkaline88 brand of water through Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Take that Primo Water Corporation (NASDAQ:PRMW)!

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    If you’ve lost count of how many distributors Alkaline Water Company Inc. (OTCBB:WTER) has working for it now, you’re not alone. Ditto for the number of grocers that are offering its flagship produce… one-gallon bottles of Alkaline84 water (some of the best-tasting and healthiest spring water you could ever drink). So many distributors and grocery store chains have just started carrying Alkaline84 within the past two months that it’s been nearly impossible to keep up with how quickly WTER has gotten its ball rolling. There is one thing that’s clear though – Alkaline Water Company has a LOT of momentum right now, up from none at the beginning of July. Take a look at all the doors the company has opened since it actually began marketing its bottled water:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap OTC drinking water stocks Glacier Water Services, Inc (OTCMKTS: GWSV), AWG International Water Corp (OTCBB: AWGI) and Alkaline Water Company Inc (OTCBB: WTER) all offer a product that many consumer, investors and traders alike might take for granted, but everyone needs to have. However, you can build a better mouse trap when it comes to drinking water or at least that what these three small caps are attempting to do with their own unique strategies:

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    Look out Primo Water Corporation (NASDAQ:PRMW), there’s a serious threat nipping out your heels, and there way of “doing bottled water” may be a heck of a lot easier for consumers to swallow than your way. The name of that budding competition? Alkaline Water Company Inc. (OTCBB:WTER). In fact, WTER became just a little more competitive on Tuesday thanks to widening its reach…. again.

Best Beverage Stocks To Buy Right Now: SABMiller PLC (SBMRY)

SABMiller plc, incorporated on March 17, 1998, is a holding company, which has brewing and beverage interests across six continents. The Company together with its subsidiaries is engaged in the manufacture, distribution and sale of beverages. The Company is a brewer with more than 200 beer brands. The Company’s portfolio of brands includes international beers, such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch, as well as local brands, such as Aguila, Castle, Miller Lite, Snow, Tyskie and Victoria Bitter. It is a bottler for the Coca-Cola Company in Africa and Central America. It operates in Latin America, Europe, North America, Africa, Asia Pacific, and South Africa.

Latin America

The Company’s primary brewing and beverage operations cover six countries across South and Central America (Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Peru). The Company is brewer in Argentina, and it exports to Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay. It bottles soft drinks for The Coca-Cola Company in El Salvador and Honduras, and for Pepsico International in Panama.

Europe

The Company’s primary brewing operations cover eight countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain (Canary Islands) and the Netherlands. A further 16 countries, including Russia, Turkey and the Ukraine are covered in a strategic alliance with Anadolu Efes through brewing, soft drinks or export operations. The Company exports volumes to a further seven European markets, of which the largest are the United Kingdom and Germany.

North America

The Company’s North America segment includes its 58% owned MillerCoors and 100% of Miller Brewing International and the its North American holding companies. The Company’s wholly owned Miller Brewing International business is based in Milwaukee, the United States and exports its brands to Canada and Mexico and througho ut the Americas.

Africa

The Compa! ny’s brewing and beverage operations in Africa cover 15 countries. A further 21 are covered through a strategic alliance with the Castel group and it also has an associated undertaking in Zimbabwe. The Company bottles soft drinks for The Coca-Cola Company in 20 of its African markets (in alliance with Castel in 14 of these markets).

Asia Pacific

The Company’s partners with China Resources Enterprise, Limited in China. The Company is engaged in brewing business in India. The Company has operation in Vietnam and it exports to various markets, including South Korea and Singapore.

South Africa

The Company’s South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd (SAB) is South Africa’s producer and distributor of lager and soft drinks. It also exports brands for distribution across Namibia. Its soft drinks division is bottler of products for The Coca-Cola Company. The Company has hotel and gaming interests through its associate, Tsogo Sun Holdings Ltd, a hotel and gaming group in South Africa.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    At current valuations, STZ stock is not attractive relative to its larger and better diversified megabrewer rivals — all of which have better exposure to emerging markets. As long-term holdings, I see better value in Heinken, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SAB Miller (SBMRY).

  • [By Rex Moore]

    The craft brewing industry saw 15% volume growth in 2012, while the big guys — led by Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD  ) and SABMiller (NASDAQOTH: SBMRY  ) , are watching their megabrands lose market share.

Best Beverage Stocks To Buy Right Now: Pepsico Inc.(PEP)

PepsiCo, Inc. engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages worldwide. The company operates in four divisions: PepsiCo Americas Foods (PAF); PepsiCo Americas Beverages (PAB); PepsiCo Europe; and PepsiCo Asia, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA). The PAF division offers Lay?s and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips and dips, Cheetos cheese flavored snacks, Fritos corn chips, Quaker Chewy granola bars, and SunChips multigrain snacks in North America; Quaker oatmeal, Aunt Jemima mixes and syrups, Cap?n Crunch cereal, Quaker grits, and Life cereal, as well as Rice-A-Roni, Pasta Roni, and Near East side dishes in North America; and various snack foods under Doritos, Marias Gamesa, Cheetos, Ruffles, Emperador, Saladitas, Sabritas, and Lay?s brands in Latin America. The PAB division provides carbonated soft drinks, beverage concentrates, fountain syrups, and finished goods under Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, 7UP, Tropicana Pure Premium, Electropura, Sierra Mist, Epura, and Mirinda brands; ready-to-drink tea, coffee, and water products through joint ventures with Unilever and Starbucks; and sells concentrate to authorized bottlers, and branded finished goods directly to independent distributors and retailers. This division also manufactures third-party brands, such as Dr Pepper, Crush, Rock Star, and Muscle Milk. The PepsiCo Europe division offers Frito Lay Snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices, and Quaker foods in Europe. The AMEA division provides snack food under the Lay?s, Kurkure, Chipsy, Doritos, Smith?s, Cheetos, Red Rock Deli, and Ruffles brands; Quaker-brand cereals and snacks; and beverage concentrates, fountain syrups, and finished goods under the Pepsi, Mirinda, 7UP, and Mountain Dew brands. PepsiCo, Inc. was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Purchase, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ingrid Hendershot]

    In the late 1800s, Caleb Bradham, a North Carolina pharmacist, created Pepsi-Cola (PEP). Since then, hundreds of other great brands have since been launched and acquired.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    For years it was the case that Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was a key defensive stock to own in a bad market. It is a Dow Jones Industrial Average component after all. In the recession, Coke products became treated as optional items to buy. And now the health concerns over sugar-fizz water are weighing on Coca-Cola. The same applies to PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) as its chief rival. The difference between them is that Pepsi is also a snack food play.