Thursday, November 20, 2014

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014

Modern Family is apparently a dud in syndication, and no one is laughing harder than Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) .

It seems that consumer appetite for the show's reruns isn't as strong as Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) USA Network -- the eventual winner of the comedy's syndication rights -- was expecting. It's been airing the show as many as five nights a week since the fall season began, and the early Nielsen ratings aren't encouraging. USA's audience is 40% lower than it was a year earlier when it was running NCIS and Law & Order: SVU reruns during the same slot.


Digital distribution was front and center in the bidding war for the popular comedy's syndication rights two years ago. Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX  ) Turner Broadcasting vocally dropped out of contention, arguing that the show was too exposed in cyberspace. Hulu and�Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) -- but not Netflix -- were streaming earlier episodes. News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA  ) COO Chase Carey backed Time Warner's move to pass on the sitcom that had become huge for Disney's ABC.

Top Managed Healthcare Companies For 2015: Schweitzer-Mauduit International Inc.(SWM)

Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. manufactures and sells paper and reconstituted tobacco products to the tobacco industry, as well as specialized paper products for use in various applications. It operates in two segments, Paper and Reconstituted Tobacco. The Paper segment primarily produces cigarette papers, such as lower ignition propensity papers, plug wrap papers, and base tipping papers to cigarette manufacturers that use to wrap various parts of a cigarette. It also offers commercial and industrial products, including lightweight printing and writing papers, battery separator papers, drinking straw wraps, filter papers, and other specialized papers to converters and other end-users or brokers. The Reconstituted Tobacco segment produces and sells reconstituted tobacco leaf, and wrapper and binder products to cigarette and cigar manufacturers. The company sells its products directly to customers in approximately 90 countries. Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [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 Schweitzer-Mauduit International (NYSE: SWM  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Tannor Pilatzke]

    Schweitzer-Mauduit, Cigarette Paper Manufacturer (SWM) ��1995 Spin-off

    This is the big winner of the portfolio of spin-offs and logically makes the most sense. The price has increased by around 500% since 1995, not including dividends. The Company manufactures and sells paper and reconstituted tobacco products to the tobacco industry as well as specialized paper products for use in other applications. The primary products in the group include cigarette, plug wrap and tipping papers, or Cigarette Papers, used to wrap various parts of a cigarette and reconstituted tobacco leaf, or RTL, which is used as a blend with virgin tobacco in cigarettes, reconstituted tobacco wrappers and binders for cigars. These products are sold directly to the tobacco companies or their designated converters in the Americas, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. Non-tobacco products are a diverse mix of products that includes low volume, high-value engineered papers as well as commodity paper grades produced to maximize machine utilization.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Specialty paper manufacturer and distributor Schweitzer-Mauduit (SWM) raised its quarterly dividend 20% to 36 cents per share, payable on Dec. 26 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 27.
    SWM Dividend Yield: 2.78%

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: AptarGroup Inc. (ATR)

AptarGroup, Inc. engages in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of consumer product dispensing systems in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. The company operates in three segments: Beauty + Home, Pharma, and Food + Beverage. The Beauty + Home segment primarily sells pumps, closures, aerosol valves, and accessories to the personal care and household markets, as well as pumps and decorative components to the fragrance/cosmetic market; and fragrance/cosmetic and personal care fine mist spray pumps, personal care lotion pumps, and continuous spray aerosol valves. The Pharma segment provides pumps for nasal allergy treatments; and metered dose inhaler valves for respiratory ailments in pharmaceutical market. The Food + Beverage segment offers dispensing and non-dispensing closures, spray pumps, and aerosol valves to the food and beverage markets. AptarGroup, Inc. sells its products through sales force, independent representatives, and distributors. The c ompany was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [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 AptarGroup (NYSE: ATR  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    When judging a company's prospects, how quickly it turns cash outflows into cash inflows can be just as important as how much profit it's booking in the accounting fantasy world we call "earnings." This is one of the first metrics I check when I'm hunting for the market's best stocks. Today, we'll see how it applies to AptarGroup (NYSE: ATR  ) .

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: Kellogg Co (K)

Kellogg Company (Kellogg), incorporated in 1922, is engaged in the manufacture and marketing of ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods. Kellogg�� principal products are ready-to-eat cereals and convenience foods, such as cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods. As of February 28, 2012, these products were, manufactured by the Company in 17 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries. It also markets cookies, crackers, and other convenience foods, under brands, such as Kellogg��, Keebler, Cheez-It, Murray, Austin and Famous Amos, to supermarkets in the United States. Its cereal products are generally marketed under the Kellogg�� name and are sold principally to the grocery trade through direct sales forces for resale to consumers. Effective June 1, 2012, Procter & Gamble Co announced that it has completed the sale of its Pringles business to Kellogg.

As of February 28, 2012, Kellogg operated manufacturing plants and distribution and warehousing facilities totaling more than 30 million square feet of building area in the United States and other countries. Its manufacturing facilities in the United States include four cereal plants and warehouses located in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; Omaha, Nebraska and other plants or facilities in San Jose, California; Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, and Rome, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Seelyville, Indiana; Kansas City, Kansas; Florence, Louisville, and Pikeville, Kentucky; Grand Rapids and Wyoming, Michigan; Blue Anchor, New Jersey; Cary and Charlotte, North Carolina; Cincinnati, West Jefferson, and Zanesville, Ohio; Muncy, Pennsylvania; Rossville, Tennessee; Clearfield, Utah; and Allyn, Washington. As of February 28, 2012, outside the United States, the Company had, additional manufacturing locations, some with warehousing facilities, in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, S! outh Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and Venezuela.

The Company�� trademarks include Kellogg�� for cereals, convenience foods and its other products, and the brand names of certain ready-to-eat cereals, including All-Bran, Apple Jacks, Bran Buds, Cinnamon Crunch Crispix, Choco Zucaritas, Cocoa Krispies, Complete, Kellogg�� Corn Flakes, Corn Pops, Cracklin��Oat Bran, Crispix, Cruncheroos, Crunchmania, Crunchy Nut, Eggo, Kellogg�� FiberPlus, Froot Loops, Kellogg�� Frosted Flakes, Kellogg�� Krave, Frosted Krispies, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Fruit Harvest, Just Right, Kellogg�� Low Fat Granola, Mueslix, Pops, Product 19, Kellogg�� Raisin Bran, Raisin Bran Crunch, Rice Krispies, Rice Krispies Treats, Smacks/Honey Smacks, Smart Start, Kellogg�� Smorz, Special K, Special K Red Berries and Zucaritas in the United States and elsewhere; Crusli, Sucrilhos, Vector, Musli, NutriDia, and Choco Krispis for cereals in Latin America. Vive and Vector are brands in Canada; Coco Pops, Chocos, Frosties, Fruit�� Fibre, Kellogg�� Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes, Honey Loops, Kellogg�� Extra, Sustain, Muslix, Country Store, Ricicles, Smacks, Start, Pops, Optima and Tresor for cereals in Europe; and Cerola, Sultana Bran, Chex, Frosties, Goldies, Rice Bubbles, Nutri-Grain, Kellogg�� Iron Man Food, and BeBig for cereals in Asia and Australia. In additional, the Company trademarks are the names of certain combinations of ready-to-eat Kellogg�� cereals, including Fun Pak, Jumbo, and Variety.

Other Company brand names include Kellogg�� Corn Flake Crumbs; All-Bran, Choco Krispis, Froot Loops, Special K, NutriDia, Kuadri-Krispis, Zucaritas and Crusli for cereal bars, Komplete for biscuits; and Kaos for snacks in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America; Pop-Tarts and Pop-Tarts Ice Cream Shoppe for toaster pastries; Pop-Tarts Mini Crisps for crackers; Eggo, Eggo FiberPlus and Nutri-Grain for frozen waffles and pancakes; Rice Krispies Treats for baked snacks and convenience foods; Special K! and Spec! ial K2O for flavored protein water mixes and protein shakes, and Nutri-Grain cereal bars, Nutri-Grain yogurt bars, for convenience foods in the United States and elsewhere. Brands like K-Time, Rice Bubbles, Day Dawn, Be Natural, Sunibrite and LCMs for convenience foods in Asia and Australia; Nutri-Grain Squares, Nutri-Grain Elevenses, and Rice Krispies Squares for convenience foods in Europe; Kashi and GoLean for certain cereals, nutrition bars, and mixes; TLC for granola and cereal bars, crackers and cookies; Special K and Vector for meal replacement products; Bear Naked for granola cereal, bars and trail mix and Morningstar Farms, Loma Linda, Natural Touch, Gardenburger and Worthington for certain meat and egg alternatives. It also markets convenience foods under trademarks and trade names, which include Keebler, Austin, Keebler Baker�� Treasures, Cheez-It, Chips Deluxe, Club, E. L. Fudge, Famous Amos, Fudge Shoppe, Kellogg�� FiberPlus, Gripz, Jack��, Jackson��, Krispy, Mother��, Murray, Murray Sugar Free, Ready Crust, Right Bites, Sandies, Special K, Soft Batch, Stretch Island, Sunshine, Toasteds, Town House, Vienna Creams, Vienna Fingers, Wheatables and Zesta.

The Company�� trademarks also include logos and depictions of certain animated characters in conjunction with its products, including Snap!Crackle!Pop! for Cocoa Krispies and Rice Krispies cereals and Rice Krispies Treats convenience foods; Tony the Tiger for Kellogg�� Frosted Flakes, Zucaritas, Sucrilhos and Frosties cereals and convenience foods, and Ernie Keebler for cookies, convenience foods and other products. It also includes the Hollow Tree logo for certain convenience foods; Toucan Sam for Froot Loops cereal; Dig ��m for Smacks/Honey Smacks cereal; Sunny for Kellogg�� Raisin Bran and Raisin Bran Crunch cereals, Coco the Monkey for Coco Pops cereal; Cornelius for Kellogg�� Corn Flakes; Melvin the Elephant for certain cereal and convenience foods, and Chocos the Bear, Sammy the Seal (aka Smaxey the Seal! ) for cer! tain cereal products.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sean Williams]

    As I referenced earlier, in some cases it involved a short-term price drop to lure previous customers back to the brand. There's a certain sense of Americana associated with Tide detergent that a small price cut certainly helps to sell. Cost-cutting on the job front also helps. P&G is reducing a grand total of 5,700 jobs worldwide and cutting back on excess domestic expenses while, at the same time, also boosting its headcount in overseas markets where growth rates are often in the double digits. Divesting has been yet another source of profits for P&G. By ridding itself of non-core assets -- like selling the Pringles chip brand to Kellogg (NYSE: K  ) for $2.7 billion -- P&G is free to focus its efforts (and its boatload of cash) on various growth initiatives.

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD)

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, incorporated on August 2, 1977, is a brewing company. The Company produces, markets, distributes and sells a balanced portfolio of approximately 200 beer brands. These include global flagship brands Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck��; multi-country brands, such as Leffe and Hoegaarden, and many local champions, such as Bud Light, Skol, Brahma, Quilmes, Michelob, Harbin, Sedrin, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigivske and Jupiler. The Company also produces and distributes soft drinks, particularly in Latin America. The Company operates in seven segments: North America, Latin America North, Latin America South, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Global Export & Holding Companies. On October 20, 2010, Companhia de Bebidas das Americas-AmBev (AmBev) and Cerveceria Regional S.A. closed a transaction pursuant, to which they combined their businesses in Venezuela, with Regional owning an 85% interest and AmBev owning the remaining 15% in the new company. On February 28, 2011, the Company closed a transaction with Dalian Daxue Group Co., Ltd and Kirin (China) Investment Co., Ltd to acquire a 100% equity interest in Liaoning Dalian Daxue Brewery Co., Ltd. The Company�� beer portfolio is divided into global, multi-country and local brands. Beer can be differentiated into the categories, such as premium brands; mainstream or core brands, and value, discount or sub-premium brands. The Company also has a presence in the soft drink market in Latin America through its subsidiary AmBev and in the United States through Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. (Anheuser-Busch). Soft drinks include both carbonated soft and non-carbonated soft drinks. Its soft drinks business includes both its own production and agreements with PepsiCo related to bottling and distribution. The brands that are distributed under these agreements are Pepsi, 7UP and Gatorade. AmBev has long-term agreements with PepsiCo whereby AmBev has the exclusive right to bottle, sell and distribute certain brands of PepsiCo�� portfolio of carbonated soft drinks in Brazil. In the United States, Anheuser-Busch also produces non-alcoholic malt beverage products, including O��oul�� and O��oul�� Amber, energy drinks and related products. In the United States, its indirect subsidiary, Metal Container Corporation, manufactures beverage cans at eight plants and beverage can lids at three plants for sale to its Anheuser-Busch beer operations and United States soft drink customers. Anheuser-Busch also owns a recycling business, which buys and sells used beverage containers and recycles aluminum and plastic containers; a manufacturer of crown liner materials for sale to its North American beer operations, and a glass manufacturing plant which manufactures glass bottles for use by its North American beer operations. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Eric Volkman]

    For beer drinkers weary of imbibing from the traditional aluminum cylinder, Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD  ) has introduced an alternative. Starting next month, the company will offer its signature brew Budweiser in a bowtie-shaped can. The new configuration will be available in special eight-packs in the popular beer's U.S. retail outlets starting on May 6.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Recently, Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD  ) introduced in the U.S. its Stella Artois Cidre brand of cider as a means of siphoning off wine drinkers but also trying to steal some of Boston Beer's thunder. According to GuestMetrics, hard cider sales soared 70% in the first quarter, and it was largely on the back of Angry Orchard. Notably, MillerCoors, the joint venture between SABMiller (NASDAQOTH: SBMRY  ) and Molson Coors (NYSE: TAP  ) , also acquired cider maker Crispin last year.

  • [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 Justin Loiseau]

    Anheuser-Busch Inbev (NYSE: BUD  ) today announced that it has officially (and finally) received government approval to acquire the part of Grupo Modelo it doesn't already own for $20.1 billion.

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: Stanley Furniture Company Inc.(STLY)

Stanley Furniture Company, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and imports wood furniture products for the residential market. It offers a line of adult furniture products comprising dining, bedroom, home office, home entertainment, and accent items under the Stanley Furniture brand name; and children?s furniture product line under the brand name of Young America. The company provides its products under various design categories, including traditional, continental, contemporary, transitional, and cottage designs. Stanley Furniture Company, Inc. sells its furniture products through independent sales representatives to independent furniture stores, interior designers, smaller specialty retailers, regional furniture chains, buying clubs, and e-tailers in the United States. Stanley Furniture Company, Inc. was founded in 1924 and is based in High Point, North Carolina.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Stanley Furniture Co (NASDAQ: STLY) is estimated to post a Q3 loss at $0.11 per share on revenue of $25.32 million.

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

  • [By Tom Bemis]

    Few major companies are reporting after Monday�� bell. Results are expected from Destiny Media Technologies (DSNY) �, Stanley Furniture Co. (STLY) � and Peregrine Pharmaceuticals. (PPHM) �.

Best Consumer Stocks For 2014: Strattec Security Corporation(STRT)

Strattec Security Corporation engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of automotive access control products. The company?s products include mechanical locks and keys, electronically enhanced locks and keys, steering column and instrument panel ignition lock housings, latches, power sliding door systems, power lift gate systems, power deck lid systems, door handles, and related products. It also provides full service and aftermarket support for its products. The company offers its products primarily for automotive manufacturers. It markets its products in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, Korea, and China. The company was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Monica Wolfe]

    Strattec Security (STRT)

    Last week Mario Gabelli increased his position in Strattec Security. The guru increased his position 4.82% by adding a total of 13,136 shares to his holdings. He bought these shares at an average price of $43.15, and since then the price per share has increased approximately 5%.

  • [By Martin Vlcek]

    Strattec Security Corp. (STRT) is a growing small-cap company with more than 100 years in the automotive supply industry and strong sales growth since 2009. The success and growth of Strattec are still mostly influenced by the global automotive markets. As many analysts still predict ongoing industry growth, the company is poised to continue strongly benefiting from this automotive tailwind. However, the company's recent diversification efforts into new product lines, industries outside of automotive and countries outside of the U.S. have created multiple new growth drivers that will ensure Strattec's continued robust sales and EPS expansion. The company's growth has also become much more balanced and more resilient to a potential automotive industry shock or U.S. slowdown.

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