The U.S. food and beverages market is expected to register strong growth in the coming months. A shift in consumer preferences and the availability of various food products based on the nutrient content, easy-to-make, and ready-to-eat features should drive the food products industry’s growth. The rising demand for organic food and advances in packaging systems should further fuel the industry’s sales.
The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will be publishing updated food safety strategies in 2022. This should further strengthen food makers’ position. They will hew to the guidelines on preservations and packaging techniques and ensure safe products to their customers.
Given this backdrop, we think the shares of fundamentally sound food products companies General Mills, Inc. (GIS), Kellogg Company (K), Ingredion Incorporated (INGR), and Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO) could be great picks now. They have gained significantly over the past months and are expected to continue rallying.
General Mills, Inc. (GIS)
GIS is a Minneapolis, Minn.-based manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. The company operates in five segments–North America Retail; Convenience Stores & Foodservice; Europe & Australia; Asia & Latin America; and Pet. GIS offers fruit and savory snacks, nutrition bars, ready-to-eat cereal, convenient meals, and other food categories. The company operates 466 leased and 392 franchise ice cream parlors.
GIS’ net sales increased 6.5% year-over-year to $5.02 billion for its fiscal second quarter, ended Nov. 28, 2021. The company’s operating profit came in at $800.1 million. And its net earnings amounted to $597.2 million. Also, the company’s EPS came in at $0.97 during this period.
Analysts expect GIS’ revenue for its fiscal year 2022 to be $18.82 billion, representing3.8% growth year-over-year. Also, its EPS is expected to grow 4.2% in fiscal 2022. Its stock price has increased 24.4% over the past year. Also, it is currently trading at $68.9, near its 52-week high of $69.68, which it hit on Dec. 17, 2021.
GIS’ strong fundamentals are reflected in its POWR Ratings. The stock has an overall B rating, which equates to a Buy in our proprietary rating system. The POWR Ratings assess stocks by 118 distinct factors, each with its own weighting.
Also, the stock has a B grade for Stability and Quality. We have also graded GIS for Momentum, Sentiment, Value, and Growth. Click here to access all of GIS’ ratings. GIS is ranked #29 of 84 stocks in the B-rated Food Makers industry.
Kellogg Company (K)
K is a manufacturer and marketer of ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods, including crackers, savory snacks, toaster pastries, cereal bars, granola bars, frozen waffles, veggie foods, and noodles. The Battle Creek, Mich.-based company operates in North America; Europe; Latin America; and Asia Middle East Africa segments. Kellogg’s, Cheez-It, Pringles, Austin, Parati, and RXBAR are the brands under K.
This month, K introduced Strawberry & Squash and Apple & Carrot Nutri-Grain soft-baked breakfast bars and Chocolatey Banana Nutri-Grain Bites. These are new flavors in Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain breakfast. The company believes that the new breakfast series should help parents find new ways to serve breakfast and snacks their kids will love and that they can feel good about.
During the third quarter, ended Oct. 2, 2021, K’s net sales increased 5.6% year-over-year to $3.62 billion. The company’s operating profit grew 8.8% from its year-ago value to $447 million. Its net income came in at $305 million. Also, its EPS amounted to $0.89 during the period.
K’s revenue is expected to increase 1.7% year-over-year to $14.37 billion in its fiscal year 2022. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history; it beat the consensus EPS estimates in three of the trailing four quarters. Also, its EPS is expected to increase 3.5% in its fiscal 2021 and marginally in fiscal 2022. Furthermore, the stock has gained 13% in price over the past year. Also, it is currently trading at $68.6, near its 52-week high of $66.84, which it hit on May 11, 2021.
K’s POWR Ratings reflect this promising outlook. The stock has an overall B rating, which equates to a Buy in our proprietary rating system. Also, the stock has a B grade for Value, Stability, and Quality.
In addition to the POWR Ratings grades I’ve just highlighted, one can see K’s ratings for Growth, Stability, Momentum, and Value here. The stock is ranked #21 in the Food Makers industry.
Ingredion Incorporated (INGR)
INGR is a global ingredients solutions company that makes sweeteners, starches, nutrition ingredients, and biomaterials for everyday products. The Westchester, Ill., company operates in more than 120 countries and in 60 diverse sectors, including food, beverage, paper and corrugating, brewing, and other industries. North America; South America; Asia Pacific; Europe, Middle East, and Africa are the segments under INGR.
INGR’s net sales increased 17.4% year-over-year to $1.76 billion for its third quarter, ended Sep. 30, 2021. The company’s gross profit was $323 million. Its operating income grew 12.4% from its year-ago value to $172 million. Also, the company’s net income rose 28% from the prior-year quarter to $119 million.
INGR’s revenue for its fiscal year 2022 is expected to be $7.32 billion, representing 6.8% year-over-year growth. The company has surpassed the consensus EPS in each of the trailing four quarters. Its EPS is expected to increase 10.8% in its fiscal year 2021 and 7.2% in fiscal 2022. INGR’s stock price has surged 27.7% over the past year. Also, it is currently trading at $100.67, near its 52-week high of $101.45, which it hit on Jan. 10, 2022.
It is no surprise that INGR has an overall B rating, which equates to a Buy in our POWR Ratings system. Also, the stock has a B grade for Sentiment, Stability, and Value.
Click here to see the additional POWR Ratings for INGR (Growth, Momentum, and Quality). INGR is ranked #27 in the Food Makers industry.
Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO)
FLO provides a wide range of bakery foods to retail and foodservice customers in the U.S. The Thomasville, Ga.-based company also provides frozen bakery products and snack cakes nationally through customers’ warehouses. The company markets its products under Nature’s Own, Dave’s Killer Bread (DKB), Wonder, Canyon Bakehouse, Tastykake, Sunbeam Bread, Merita, European Bakers, Butternut, Bunny Bread, and Mrs. Freshley’s brand names.
FLO’s sales increased 3.9% year-over-year to $1.03 billion for the third quarter, ended Oct. 19, 2021. The company’s income from operations was $52.12 million. Its net income amounted to $38.85 million. Also, the company’s EPS came in at $0.18.
Analysts expect FLO’s revenue for its fiscal year 2022 to be $4.4 billion, representing 1.8% growth year-over-year. FLO has an impressive earnings surprise history; it beat the consensus EPS estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Also, its EPS is expected to grow marginally in fiscal 2022. Its stock price has increased 29.7% over the past year and is currently trading at $28.27, near its 52-week high of $28.51, which it hit on January 10, 2022.
FLO’s POWR Ratings reflect this promising outlook. The stock has an overall B rating, which equates to a Buy in our proprietary rating system. Also, the stock has an A grade for Quality.
In addition to the POWR Rating grades I have just highlighted, one can see FLO’s ratings for Value, Stability, Growth, Sentiment, and Momentum here. FLO is ranked #13 in the Food Makers industry.
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REVISED: 2023 Stock Market Outlook (includes top 7 picks)
GIS shares were trading at $69.31 per share on Friday morning, up $0.41 (+0.60%). Year-to-date, GIS has gained 3.64%, versus a -2.35% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
About the Author: Priyanka Mandal
Priyanka is a passionate investment analyst and financial journalist. After earning a master's degree in economics, her interest in financial markets motivated her to begin her career in investment research. More...
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