Best Consumer Stocks For 2014

If analysts have a price target that is lower than the current share prices across the board for a sector, does that make the entire sector overvalued. This is no simple question, because it is too easy to say “Yes” as your answer. Wall Street analysts have notoriously been chasers, moving price targets up as shares rise and down as they fall. The problem we are faced with now in the airline sector is that the consensus price targets are either lower than most major airliner stock prices today or there is so little upside that the risk-reward ratio is too great.

The pending merger of AMR Corp. (OTC: AAMRQ) and US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE: LCC) has gone from being blocked to now looking far more likely now that the companies have offered up concessions. This is going to give the entire airline sector some serious pricing power and the power to jam customers into planes like sardines if they want, plus the right to bilk endlessly with fees for everything. Unfortunately, all of the good news may be priced into the airline stocks at this time.

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: The Hain Celestial Group Inc.(HAIN)

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells natural and organic products in the United States and internationally. The company offers natural and organic grocery products, including non-dairy beverages and frozen desserts, infant and toddler food, flour and baking mixes, hot and cold cereals, pasta, condiments, cooking and culinary oils, granolas, granola bars, cereal bars, canned, aseptic and instant soups, yogurt, chilis, packaged grain, chocolate, nut butters, nutritional oils, juices, frozen desserts, cookies, crackers, gluten-free frozen entrees and bars, frozen pastas, and ethnic meals. It also provides snack products, such as potato and vegetable chips, organic tortilla style chips, whole grain chips, and popcorn; and specialty tea, including herbal, green, wellness, white, red, and chai teas. In addition, the company offers personal care products, including skin care, hair care, body care, oral care, deodorants, and baby care items, including acne treatment, body washes, and sunscreens. Further, it processes, markets, and distributes prepared foods, such as fresh sandwiches, appetizers, and full-plated meals for distribution to retailers, caterers, and food service providers; and develops, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells a line of household cleaning products, including laundry detergent and fabric softener, and dish cleaners, as well as glass, bathroom, wood floor, and all purpose cleaners. The company sells its products to specialty and natural food distributors, as well as to supermarkets, natural food stores, mass-market and on-line retailers, drug store chains, food service channels, and club stores. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Melville, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell]

    Hain Celestial Group Inc.(HAIN) said its fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 30% on higher revenue, although its gross margin narrowed. But the top line missed analysts’ expectations, sending shares down 6.6% to $85.01 premarket.

  • [By Brendan Byrnes]

    The following video segment is part of a full interview, in which The Motley Fool’s Brendan Byrnes sits down with Irwin Simon, the founder and CEO of Hain Celestial (NASDAQ: HAIN  ) , to take a closer look at the better-for-you food revolution. In this segment, they discuss how the consumer desire for more convenient packaging, while still providing a nutritious item, are shaping future products.

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: Ingredion Inc (INGR)

Ingredion Incorporated (Ingredion), formerly Corn Products International, Inc., incorporated on March 27, 1997, is a global manufacturer and supplier of starch and sweetener ingredients to a range of industries, including packaged food, beverage, brewing and industrial customers. The Company’s product line includes starches and sweeteners, animal feed products and edible corn oil.

The Company’s starch-based products include both food-grade and industrial starches. The Company’s sweetener products include glucose syrups, high maltose syrups, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), caramel color, dextrose, polyols, maltodextrins and glucose and syrup solids. The Company’s products are derived primarily from the processing of corn and other starch-based materials, such as tapioca, potato and rice.

Sweetener Products

The Company’s sweetener products represented approximately 44% of the Company’s net sales for the year ended December 31, 2012. G lucose syrups are fundamental ingredients used in food products, such as baked goods, snack foods, beverages, canned fruits, condiments, candy and other sweets, dairy products, ice cream, jams and jellies, prepared mixes and table syrups. Glucose syrups offer functionality in addition to sweetness to processed foods. High Maltose Syrup is special type of glucose syrup, which is primarily used as a fermentable sugar in brewing beers. High maltose syrups are also used in the production of confections, canning and some other food processing applications. The Company’s high maltose syrups actually speeds the fermentation process, allowing brewers to increase capacity without adding capital.

High fructose corn syrup is used in a variety of consumer products, including soft drinks, fruit-flavored beverages, baked goods, dairy products, confections and other food and beverage products. In addition to sweetness and ease of use, high fructose corn syrup provides body,hum ectancy and aids in browning, freezing point and crystalliza! tion control.

Dextrose has a range of applications in the food and confection industries, in solutions for intravenous and other pharmaceutical applications, and numerous industrial applications like wallboard, biodegradable surface agents and moisture control agents. Dextrose functionality in foods, beverages and confectionary includes sweetness control; body and viscosity; acts as a bulking, drying and anti-caking agent; serves as a carrier; provides freezing point and crystallization control; and aids in fermentation. Dextrose is also a fermentation agent in the production of light beer. In pharmaceutical applications dextrose is used in IV solutions as well as an excipient suitable for direct compression in tableting.

Polyols products are sugar-free, reduced calorie sweeteners primarily derived from starch or sugar for the food, beverage, confectionery, industrial, personal and oral care, and nutritional supplement markets. In addition to sweetn ess, polyols inhibit crystallization; provide binding, humectancy and plasticity; add texture; extend shelf life; prevent moisture migration, and are an excipient suitable for tableting.

Maltodextrins and Glucose Syrup Solids products have a multitude of food applications, including formulations where liquid syrups cannot be used. Maltodextrins are resistant to browning, provide solubility, have a low hydroscopicity (do not retain moisture), and are ideal for their carrier/bulking properties. Glucose syrup solids have a bland flavor, remain clear in solution are easy to handle and provide bulking properties.

Starch Products

The Company’s starch products represented approximately 37 % of the Company’s net sales for 2012. Starches are an important component in a range of processed foods, where they are used for adhesions, clouding, dusting, expansion, fat replacement, freshness, gelling, glazing, mouth feel, stabilization and texture. Sta rches are also used in paper production to create a smooth s! urface fo! r printed communications and to improve strength in recycled papers. Specialty starches are used for enhanced drainage, fiber retention, oil and grease resistance, improved printability and biochemical oxygen demand control. Industrial starches are used in the production of construction materials, textiles, adhesives, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, as well as in mining, water filtration and oil and gas drilling. Specialty starches are used for biomaterial applications including biodegradable plastics, fabric softeners and detergents, hair and skin care applications, dusting powders for surgical gloves and in the production of glass fiber and insulation.

Co-Products and others

Co-products and others accounted for 19% of the Company’s net sales for 2012. Refined corn oil (from germ) is sold to packers of cooking oil and to producers of margarine, salad dressings, shortening, mayonnaise and other foods. Corn gluten feed is sold as animal feed. Corn gl uten meal is sold as high protein feed for chickens, pet food and aquaculture.

The Company competes with ADM Corn Processing Division (ADM), Cargill, Inc. and Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    What: Shares of Ingredion (NYSE: INGR  ) were down as much as 10% today after the ingredient seller cut its full-year and current-quarter EPS forecast.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Ingredion (NYSE: INGR  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Memberships and Peers: ADM 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: Bunge Limited (BG) with a 1.6% yield, Ingredion Incorporated (INGR) with a 2.4% yield and Griffin Land & Nurseries Inc. (GRIF) with a 0.7% yield.

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: WD-40 Co (WDFC)

WD-40 Company incorporated on October 22, 1999, is a global consumer products company dedicated to delivering solutions for a range of maintenance needs of doer and on-the-job users. As of August 31, 2012, the Company’s products included WD-40 Smart Straw, WD-40 Trigger Pro, 3-IN-ONE Professional Garage Door Lube, Spot Shot Pet Clean which is a non-aerosol Spot Shot trigger product, Blue Works product line, and a mildew stain remover under the X-14 brand. In addition, its WD-40 Speciality product line, consists of certain specialty maintenance products. The Company’s three geographical segments are: the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Company sells its products primarily through mass retail and home center stores, warehouse club stores, grocery stores, hardware stores, automotive parts outlets and industrial distributors and suppliers. During the fiscal year ended August 31, 2012, the Company formed WD-40 Bike Company LLC, focused on the development of a line of bicycle maintenance products for cyclists and mechanics.

Multi-Purpose Maintenance Products

The WD-40 brand is a multi-purpose maintenance product and is sold as an aerosol spray, a non-aerosol trigger spray and in liquid form through mass retail stores, hardware stores, warehouse club stores, automotive parts outlets and industrial distributors and suppliers. WD-40 products are sold worldwide in markets, such as North, Central and South America, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Rim, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. WD-40 products has a range of consumer uses in household, marine, automotive, construction, repair, sporting goods and gardening applications, in addition to numerous industrial applications. The 3-IN-ONE brand consists of multi-purpose drip oil and spray lubricant products, as well as other specialty maintenance products. The drip oil is an entry-level lubricant with spout options that allow applications for small mechanisms and asse mblies, tool maintenance and threads on screws and bolts. It! also has industrial applications in areas, such as locksmithing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), marine, farming, construction and jewelry manufacturing. In addition to the drip oil line of products, the 3-IN-ONE brand also includes a line of products known as 3-IN-ONE Professional, which is a line of multi-purpose maintenance products. 3-IN-ONE products are sold in the United States, Europe, Canada, Latin America, Australia and Asia.

The Blue Works brand consists of a line of industrial grade, specialty maintenance products that include lubricants, penetrants, degreasers and cleaners designed specifically for the needs of industrial users. Blue Works products were launched in the United States in selected markets in Europe and are sold through the industrial channel. WD-40 Specialist consists of a line of specialty problem solving products that include penetrants, water resistant silicone sprays, corrosion inhibitors and rust removers that are aimed at the current users of the WD-40 brand.

Homecare and Cleaning Products

The X-14 brand is a line of products designed for cleaning needs. X-14 is sold as a liquid mildew stain remover and two types of automatic toilet bowl cleaners. X-14 is sold in the United States through grocery and mass retail channels. The 2000 Flushes brand is a line of long-lasting automatic toilet bowl cleaners, which includes a variety of formulas. 2000 Flushes is sold in the United States and Canada through grocery and mass retail channels. The Carpet Fresh brand is a line of room and rug deodorizers sold as powder, aerosol foam and trigger spray products. Carpet Fresh is sold through grocery and mass retail channels in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. In the United Kingdom, Carpet Fresh is sold under the 1001 brand name. In Australia, Carpet Fresh is sold under the No Vac brand name.

The Spot Shot brand is sold as an aerosol carpe t stain remover and a liquid trigger carpet stain and odor e! liminator! . The brand also includes products, such as Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain & Odor Eliminator and Spot Shot Pet Clean, which are non-toxic and biodegradable. Spot Shot products are sold through grocery and mass retail channels, warehouse club stores and hardware and home center stores in the United States and Canada. Spot Shot products are also sold in the United Kingdom under the 1001 brand name. The 1001 brand includes carpet and household cleaners and rug and room deodorizers, which are sold through mass retail, grocery and home center stores in the United Kingdom. The Lava and Solvol brands consist of heavy-duty hand cleaner products, which are sold in bar soap and liquid form through hardware, grocery, industrial, automotive and mass retail channels. Lava is sold in the United States, while Solvol is sold in Australia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Earnings Expected: International Speedway Corporation (NASDAQ: ISCA), WD-40 Company (NASDAQ: WDFC), Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA)

    Economic Releases Expected: French trade balance, British industrial production, British manufacturing production, Canadian housing starts, US redbook

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    On-the-job maintenance services products manufacturer WD-40 (WDFC) raised its quarterly dividend 10% to 34 cents per share, payable on Jan. 31 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 6.
    WDFC Dividend Yield: 1.82%

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on WD-40 (Nasdaq: WDFC  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    WD-40 (Nasdaq: WDFC  ) reported earnings on July 8. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended May 31 (Q3), WD-40 beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: Quiksilver Inc.(ZQK)

Quiksilver, Inc. designs, develops, produces, and distributes apparel, footwear, accessories, and related products. The company offers shirts, walkshorts, T-shirts, fleece, pants, jackets, snowboard wear, footwear, hats, backpacks, wetsuits, watches, eyewear, and other accessories to men, women, boys, girls, toddlers, and infants under the brand Quiksilver. It also provides sportswear, swimwear, footwear, backpacks, snowboard wear, snowboards, bedroom furnishings, and other accessories for girls, toddlers, and infants under the brand Roxy. In addition, the company offers skateboard shoes, snowboard boots, sandals, and apparel for young men and juniors under the brand DC. Further, it provides skateboard products, and snowboards and accessories under the brands Hawk, Lib Technologies, and Gnu. The company sells its products in approximately 90 countries in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia/Pacific, through surf shops, skateboard shops, snowboard shops, select department sto res, independent specialty or active lifestyle stores, and specialty chains, as well as through its 770 owned or licensed company stores. Quiksilver, Inc. was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Huntington Beach, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]

    Quiksilver Inc.(ZQK) said its revenue dropped more than expected in its fiscal first quarter, with the declines spanning its geographic markets, partly owing to negative currency impacts.

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Shares of Quiksilver Inc. (ZQK)  declined 5.1% to $7.30 on moderate volume after the skateboarding and surfing apparel maker posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss on revenue that fell short of estimates.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK) was also up, gaining 7.63 percent to $8.32 after the company posted a loss in the fourth quarter. B. Riley upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Quiksilver Inc.(ZQK) unveiled plans to pursue the sale and exit of several more noncore businesses, following the sports outfitter’s $58 million divestiture of its Mervin snowboard unit last month. The businesses Quiksilver plans to shed include Surfdome Shop Ltd., Hawk Designs, Inc., its Moskova brand and its business under license with Maui & Sons.

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: Helen of Troy Limited(HELE)

Helen of Troy Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, import, marketing, and distribution of brand-name consumer products primarily in the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. It operates in three segments: Personal Care, Housewares, and Healthcare/Home Environment. The Personal Care segment offers hair dryers, straighteners, curling irons, hair setters, shavers, mirrors, hot air brushes, home hair clippers and trimmers, paraffin baths, massage cushions, footbaths, body massagers, brushes, combs, hair accessories, liquid and aerosol hair styling products, men?s fragrances, men?s and women?s antiperspirants and deodorants, liquid and bar soaps, shampoos, conditioners, hair treatments, foot powder, body powder, and skin care products. The Housewares segment provides kitchen tools, cutlery, bar and wine accessories, household cleaning tools, food storage containers, tea kettles, trash cans, storage an d organization products, hand tools, gardening tools, kitchen mitts and trivets, barbeque tools, and rechargeable lighting products, as well as baby and toddler care products, including convertible high chair. The Healthcare/Home Environment segment offers humidifiers, de-humidifiers, vaporizers, thermometers, air purifiers, fans, portable heaters, heating pads, and electronic mosquito traps. The company sells its products primarily through mass merchandisers, drugstore chains, warehouse clubs, home improvement stores, catalogs, grocery stores, specialty stores, beauty supply retailers, e-commerce retailers, wholesalers, and various types of distributors, as well as directly online to end user consumers. Helen of Troy Limited was founded in 1968 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]

    Helen of Troy Ltd.(HELE) said it expects to buy back about $246 million of its shares through a Dutch auction tender offer that allowed the personal-care company to repurchase up to $300 million in stock. The company, whose products include OXO kitchen tools and Brut After Shave, said it expects to acquire about 3.7 million shares at $66.50 a share, the high end of its offering range.

  • [By Canadian Value]

    NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Sachem Head Capital Management today sent a letter to the Board of Directors of leading consumer goods company Helen of Troy Limited (HELE). In the letter, Sachem Head outlines its belief that Helen of Troy shares are materially undervalued, highlighting the Board’s apparent unwillingness to respond to recent inquiries regarding potential strategic combinations, and recommending actions for the Board of Directors to undertake to maximize value for the shareholders, including a thorough and legitimate review of strategic alternatives.

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Helen of Troy Ltd (HELE)  shares rose 1.3% to $49.20 on light volume after reporting third-quarter earnings of $1.16 a share on revenue of $380.7 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of $1.09 a share on revenue of $378.9 million.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Helen of Troy (NASDAQ: HELE) is estimated to post its Q2 earnings at $0.72 per share on revenue of $292.15 million.

    Posted-In: Earnings scheduleEarnings News Pre-Market Outlook Markets

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: Hillshire Brands Co (HSH)

The Hillshire Brands Company, incorporated on September 4, 1941, is a manufacturer and marketer of food products. The Company’s portfolio includes brands, such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Sara Lee frozen bakery and Chef Pierre pies, as well as artisanal brands Aidells and Gallo Salame. The Company operates in two segments: Retail and Foodservice/Other. Retail sells a variety of packaged meat and frozen bakery products to retail customers in North America. Foodservice/other sells a variety of meat and bakery products to foodservice customers in North America. On February 4, 2013, the Company completed the sale of its Australian bakery business.

Retail

Products in the retail segments include hot dogs and corn dogs, breakfast sausages, breakfast convenience items, including breakfast sandwiches and bowls, dinner sausages, deli and luncheon meats and cooked hams, as well as frozen pies, cakes, cheesecakes and other desserts . The Company’s brands include Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair and Sara Lee, as well as artisanal brands Aidells and Gallo Salame. The sales of the Retail business are generated in the United States Sales are made in the retail channel to supermarkets, warehouse clubs and national chains. Retail’s business accounted for 74% of the Company’s sales during the fiscal year ended June 29, 2013 (fiscal 2013).

Foodservice/Other

Products in the foodservice/other segment include hot dogs and corn dogs, breakfast sausages and sandwiches, dinner sausages, deli and luncheon meats, ham, beef and turkey, as well as a variety of bakery products, including pastries, muffins, frozen pies, cakes and cheesecakes. Sales are made in the foodservice channel to distributors, restaurants, hospitals and other large institutions. Foodservice/Other’s business accounted for 26% of the Company’s sales in fiscal 2013.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Reuters]

    Toby Talbot/AP NEW YORK — A voluntary effort by the world’s largest food and beverage companies to remove billions of calories from the products they sell in the United States to help combat the nation’s obesity epidemic has far exceeded its five-year goal, according to an independent evaluation released Thursday. In May 2010, 16 of the nation’s biggest food and beverage companies, from Coca-Cola (KO) to Kraft Foods Group (KRFT), pledged to remove 1 trillion calories from the U.S. marketplace by 2012 and 1.5 trillion by 2015, compared with a 2007 baseline. In fact, as of 2012 they sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories, found an analysis by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Reports like this, and the fact that they exceeded their commitment by fourfold, really shows that you can make progress in giving American families more healthy options,” said Larry Soler, president of the Partnership for a Healthier America, a non-profit chaired by first lady Michelle Obama. The group was formed in 2010 to work with the private sector on anti-obesity strategies. At the time, critics said the Partnership relied too heavily on the good will of the industry and couldn’t replace the role of tighter regulation on how food is manufactured and marketed. Such voluntary efforts by industry “are not a magic bullet,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit policy group. “Particularly with kids, there is a role for regulation” in reducing demand for unhealthy, high-calorie fare. It isn’t clear yet how the companies accomplished the dramatic calorie reduction, said UNC public health researcher Barry Popkin, who led the analysis funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest public health philanthropy. Some of the decline may have come from the recession, as financially strapped families cut back on junk food. When the pledge was announced, companies said they would substitute lower-calorie pro

  • [By Matt Thalman]

    And finally, Hormel. The stock fell after the CEO of Hillshire Brands (NYSE: HSH  ) said that his company will look to make some acquisitions in the coming year and focus more on chicken products as consumers begin to demand healthier options. It is clear that the competition will continue to intensify for Hormel in the coming months and years and, as Hillshire is still a smaller company, it could change very quickly if the acquisition-happy CEO goes on a shopping spree. With many of these food brands, it is all about shelf space and location within a store and, more times than not, the bigger the player, the better the location. Hormel investors shouldn’t be overly concerned today, but need to watch how things play out in the future.  

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Although the Hostess acquisition was high profile, Flowers has made many similar though smaller acquisitions in recent years, taking advantage of the fragmented bakery industry to pick off targets individually with attractive buyout offers. Moreover, late last year, the company bought licensing rights for the Sara Lee brand in California, after Sara Lee changed its name to Hillshire Brands (NYSE: HSH  ) and shifted its focus toward meat products. The move helped Sara Lee reap more money from its brand while giving Flowers more market share in the important California market.

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: McCormick & Company Inc (MKC)

McCormick & Company, Incorporated (McCormick) manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the food industry, retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses. The Company’s sales, distribution and production facilities are located in North America and Europe. Additional facilities are based in China, Australia, Mexico, India, Singapore, Central America, Thailand and South Africa. The Company operates in two business segments: consumer and industrial. During the fiscal year ended November 30, 2011, the Company’s consumer business contributed 59% of sales and 79% of operating income and the industrial business contributed 41% of sales and 21% of operating income.

McCormick’s products are sold directly to customers and also through brokers, wholesalers, and distributors. In the consumer segment, products are resold to consumers through a range of retail outlets, including grocery, ma ss merchandise, warehouse clubs, discount, and drug stores under a range of brands. In the industrial segment, products are used by food and beverage manufacturers as ingredients for their finished goods and by food service customers as ingredients for menu items to enhance the flavor of their foods. Customers for the industrial segment include food manufacturers and the foodservice industry supplied both directly and indirectly through distributors.

Consumer Business

The Company’s brands in the Americas include McCormick, Lawry’s and Club House. The Company also markets brands, such as Zatarain’s, Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) its brands include the Ducros, Schwartz and Kamis brands of spices, herbs and seasonings and a line of Vahine brand dessert items. In the Asia/Pacific region its primary brand is McCormick, with the exception of India where its joint venture owns and trades under the Kohinoor brand. The Company’s customers span a variety of retail o! utlets that include grocery, mass merchandise, warehouse clubs, discount and drug stores, served directly and indirectly through distributors or wholesalers. In addition to marketing its products to these customers, the Company is also a supplier of private label items, also known as store brands. More than 250 other brands are sold in the United States with additional brands in international markets.

Industrial Business

In its industrial business, the Company provides a range of products to multinational food manufacturers and foodservice customers. The foodservice customers are supplied both directly and indirectly through distributors. Its range of products include seasoning blends, natural spices and herbs, wet flavors, coating systems and compound flavors. In addition to a broad range of flavor solutions, we strive to achieve customer intimacy.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Johanna Bennett]

    Corporate earnings took a back seat today to the Fed’s latest policy decision. Still, quarterly financial results, and other news sent shares of McCormick & Co. (MKC) and Tupperware (TUP), falling during regular market hours Here’s a rundown of several of today’s moves:

  • [By Reuters]

    Toby Talbot/AP NEW YORK — A voluntary effort by the world’s largest food and beverage companies to remove billions of calories from the products they sell in the United States to help combat the nation’s obesity epidemic has far exceeded its five-year goal, according to an independent evaluation released Thursday. In May 2010, 16 of the nation’s biggest food and beverage companies, from Coca-Cola (KO) to Kraft Foods Group (KRFT), pledged to remove 1 trillion calories from the U.S. marketplace by 2012 and 1.5 trillion by 2015, compared with a 2007 baseline. In fact, as of 2012 they sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories, found an analysis by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Reports like this, and the fact that they exceeded their commitment by fourfold, really shows that you can make progress in giving American families more healthy options,” said Larry Soler, president of the Partnership for a Healthier America, a non-profit chaired by first lady Michelle Obama. The group was formed in 2010 to work with the private sector on anti-obesity strategies. At the time, critics said the Partnership relied too heavily on the good will of the industry and couldn’t replace the role of tighter regulation on how food is manufactured and marketed. Such voluntary efforts by industry “are not a magic bullet,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit policy group. “Particularly with kids, there is a role for regulation” in reducing demand for unhealthy, high-calorie fare. It isn’t clear yet how the companies accomplished the dramatic calorie reduction, said UNC public health researcher Barry Popkin, who led the analysis funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest public health philanthropy. Some of the decline may have come from the recession, as financially strapped families cut back on junk food. When the pledge was announced, companies said they would substitute lower-calorie pro

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Speaking of consecutive dividend increase streaks, food processor Hormel (HRL) increased its dividend for the 48th consecutive year, while spice maker McCormick (MKC) upped its dividend for a 28th consecutive year.

  • [By Bruce Kennedy]

    (c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: Panasonic Corp (PCRFF)

Panasonic Corporation is a Japan-based electronics manufacturer. The Audio-Visual Computer (AVC) Network segment offers audio and video equipment. The Appliance segment provides household air-conditioning machines. The System Communications segment provides system network and mobile communications-related products and services. The Eco-solutions segment consists of riding, energy system, housing system and others. The Automotive systems segment provides automotive multimedia-related equipment and others. The Device segment provides electronic components, semiconductors and optical devices. The Energy segment provides solar system and lithium-ion batteries. The Others segment consists of health care, manufacturing solutions and PanaHome. On October 1, 2013, it announced it had set up a research and development center in Singapore. In December 2013, it transferred its 66.7% stake in a Japan-based subsidiary. In December 2013, it acquired a Turkey-based company. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks slipped early Monday, with the Nikkei Stock Average (JP:NIK) down 0.1% at 14,298.17, and the Topix dropping 0.4%. Singapore-traded lead futures for the Nikkei Average had suggested a 0.8% gain for the index, but the indicator fell after the Cabinet Office reported fourth-quarter economic growth of 0.3%, flat from the previous quarter and below expectations in separate Reuters and Wall Street Journal/Nikkei surveys. The disappointing economic data also pushed the yen higher, weighing on some exporters, with Panasonic Corp. (JP:6752) (PCRFF) down 1.8%, NEC Corp. (JP:6701) (NIPNF) off 1.3%, and Sony Corp. (JP:6758) (SNE) down 0.7% after S&P downgraded the firm’s credit rating to BBB- from BBB with a negative outlook. Shares of Internet retailer Rakuten Inc. (JP:4755) (RKUNF) dropped 12% after announcing plans to buy online messaging and telecom firm Viber Media Inc. for $900 million as well as posting below-consensus full-year profit. Banks were broadly lower, with Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (JP:8411) (MFG) off 1% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (JP:8316) (SMFG) off 1.1%, though Daiwa Securities Group Inc. (JP:8601)

  • [By Victor Selva]

    Of course, a great bet also involves many risks. Even though LCD technology became very popular in these last few years, both in TV screens and computer monitors, we should never miss the fact that technological markets are often exposed to products becoming obsolete due to the development of new, more efficient technology. Without going any further, it’s easy to recall the plasma display panel (PDP) fiasco, an apparently promising market in the 1990s and early 2000s but quickly replaced by LCDs (by 2008 LCDs sell 21.1 million units, almost 10 times PDP sales on the same year). Even Panasonic Corporation (PCRFF) announced it will interrupt production of PDP on 2014.

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: Bell AG (BELL)

Bell AG is a Switzerland-based company that is primarily engaged in the production and distribution of meat. The Company has seven product groups. The Fresh Meat product group is involved in the supply of self-service meat products for the retail trade and products for the restaurant trade, as well as Vaudois specialties. The Charcuterie (own and purchased) product groups offer ready-cooked products, both under the Bell brand and under a number of customers’ own brands. The Poultry product group offers various poultry products, as well as specialty meats, such as rabbit, game, ostrich and kangaroo. The Convenience product group offers ready-cooked seasonal convenience products, such as domestic and imported fish. Within the Seafood product group, the Company offers fresh and frozen seafood. Bell AG’s brands include Abraham, Zimbo and Polette, among others. The Company operates subsidiaries in Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Hungary and other countries. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tannor Pilatzke]

    Investment ideas are scarce and hard to come by at times. People constantly ask me about companies they work for (Bell) or businesses they purchase a lot of product from (P&G or Coca-Cola), and what I think about the prospects/valuation. When it is not the blue chips in the limelight it certainly is the Netflix’s,Tesla’s, 3-D printing, and other companies I would classify as speculative. It is not that I am a Grinch, but I do not like giving out investment ideas. Rather, I attempt to give lessons. As Maimonides said, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.”