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Tickers in this Article: HNZ, CPB, CAG, WMT
America's interest in backyard barbecuing and tailgating at sporting games are two reasons why I am bullish on Heinz (NYSE:HNZ). Actually, I think that the potential demand for its products around the world can be very big going forward. And perhaps not surprisingly, I'm interested in the stock as well.

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Why Heinz Can Still Cook
Drilling down into its stock looks like Heinz is worth a nibble. For example, right now Heinz is flirting with its 52-week high, and while I am no chartist, if the company makes a new high, it will grab a lot of attention in the press and among analysts. It's also hard to ignore that the company has been able to dish out some nice earnings-per-share beats. A quick look reveals Heinz has zipped past estimates in a healthy way in three of the past four quarters, which certainly grabs my attention.

Upcoming Earnings
And speaking of earnings, the company is expected to release its second-quarter results later this month. As of now, the estimate for the period is 70 cents, but I think Heinz will beat that number. If my speculation is right, it may draw people and possibly analysts into the stock. Heinz's long-standing history, its recent ability to deliver earnings, the possibility that it can hit a new 52-week high and my feel that another earnings beat could happen are among the reasons why the shares are enticing.

Not the Only Food Company that Can Sizzle
There are a handful of things that intrigue me about Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), which has a stellar reputation and a long history in the food industry. For one, with the economy still a little bit sluggish on Main Street, I think the demand for Campbell's food could be relatively strong. And if nothing else, I see the interest in microwavable soups rising. CPB stocks trade at 13.9 times this year's estimate.

ConAgra (NYSE:CAG) is a company that has interested me for a while, too. It is a company that seems to fly under many radars. But it trades right now at a reasonable 13-times this year's estimate, is flirting with its 52-week high and is knee deep in a number of well-known products.

Finally, although clearly not a competitor to Heinz, I want to bring up Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT). WMT sells a great amount of food and the company recently exceeded EPS expectations in its third quarter.

Bottom Line
While ketchup and food might not be the most interesting story on Wall Street these days, Heinz has been performing well, and think it can be a solid performer going forward in the next few years. Plus, it trades at a reasonable multiple of expected earnings and has done a good job reporting some upside EPS surprises, which is always nice to see. (For more, see A Guide To Consumer Staples.)

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