Conventional market wisdom says that if you're growing wary of a market rally, or are ready to add a little defense to your portfolio, consumer staples have been the sector most investors head towards. And in this sector, there are a few names that always make their way into the conversation.

IN PICTURES: PG) is the largest maker of consumer products in the world, and a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), another Dow member, and rival PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) are another pair of popular consumer staples stocks. And food and tobacco names like Kraft (NYSE:KFT) and Altria (NYSE:MO) are also found on the roster of highly-regarded consumer staples names.

Well, it often pays to look off the beaten path, so we decided to look at a pair of consumer staples names that make products you may already have in your house, but are unfamiliar with the stocks. Here's our pair:

Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) 52-Week Performance: 5.1% Forward P/E: 15
Jarden (NYSE:JAH) 52-Week Performance: 172% Forward P/E: 9.8%

Bank on Baking Soda
Church & Dwight makes an array of products you've probably either bought or are at least familiar with such as Orange Glo, Orajel, Trojan condoms and Brillo, but the company is most known for Arm & Hammer baking soda. That's an impressive product list, but the stock has significantly lagged the broader market over the past 52 weeks, gaining just 5% while the S&P 500 is up more than 34% in the same time.

Church & Dwight trades in-line with the consumer products group on a trailing P/E basis, but the shares are slightly cheaper than those of its rivals based on forward P/E, price-to-book and price-to-cash flow. Third-quarter net income soared 43% and sales climbed 2%, perhaps an indication that the stock won't remain cheap for long.

While Church & Dwight only yields 1%, the company's dividend history is nothing if not consistent. The company has paid a dividend for 435 consecutive quarters. It is worth noting that Church & Dwight is one of the steadiest earners on Wall Street and the company had $222 million in free cash flow through the first nine months of 2009 compared with $179 million a year earlier.

Time to Play this Card?
Jarden makes hundreds of products, from camping gear to toasters, but the company may be best known for its Bicycle playing cards and Mr. Coffee coffee makers. While those aren't the most exciting products in the world, Jarden's performance has been awe-inspiring over the past year, as the shares have nearly tripled. And Jarden is a cash flow king in its own right. The company expects to generate $250 million in free cash this year.

In October, Jarden reported an impressive earnings beat of its own, earning 93 cents a share for the third quarter when analysts were expecting 81 cents a share. As a result, all seven analysts covering Jarden raised their 2009 earnings estimates by an average of 14 cents to $2.54 a share. The 2010 consensus estimate is also up 5% in the past month.

While Jarden doesn't have much of a dividend history, investors should note that the company started paying a dividend for the first time in October. That's an encouraging sign, and while there are no guarantees the shares will continue their torrid pace, Jarden's earnings prospects indicate a bright future may indeed be in the cards.

The Bottom Line: From Your Shelves to Your Portfolio
Unless you're an extremely conservative investor, it may not be wise to overload your portfolio with conservative staples names. That said, if you're looking a for a steady earner, Church & Dwight fits the bill and if you're looking for a defensive name with midcap growth potential, Jarden may give you a winning hand. (Learn more about defensive stocks, Guard Your Portfolio With Defensive Stocks.)

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Altria's Return on Equity (ROE) (MO)

    Learn about Altria Group's return on equity (ROE) and analyze net profit margin, asset turnover and financial leverage to determine what is causing its high ROE.
  2. Investing News

    Icahn's Bet on Cheniere Energy: Should You Follow?

    Investing legend Carl Icahn continues to lose money on Cheniere Energy, but he's increasing his stake. Should you follow his lead?
  3. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Google's Return on Equity (ROE) (GOOGL)

    Learn about Alphabet's return on equity. How has its ROE changed over time, how does it compare to its peers and what factors are driving ROE for the company?
  4. Investing News

    Is Buffett's Bet on Oil Right for You? (XOM, PSX)

    Oil stocks are getting trounced, but Warren Buffett still likes one of them. Should you follow the leader?
  5. Investing News

    Chipotle Served with Criminal Probe

    Chipotle's beat muted expectations and got a clear bill from the CDC, but it now appears that an investigation into its E.coli breakout has expanded.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Sprint Corp's Return on Equity (ROE) (S)

    Learn about Sprint's return on equity. Find out why its ROE is negative and how asset turnover and financial leverage impact ROE relative to Sprint's peers.
  7. Stock Analysis

    Why Alphabet is the Best of the 'FANGs' for 2016

    Alphabet just impressed the street, but is it the best FANG stock?
  8. Investing News

    A 2016 Outlook: What January 2009 Can Teach Us

    January 2009 and January 2016 were similar from an investment standpoint, but from a forward-looking perspective, they were very different.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    3 Vanguard Equity Fund Underperformers

    Discover three funds from Vanguard Group that consistently underperform their indexes. Learn how consistent most Vanguard low-fee funds are at matching their indexes.
  10. Investing News

    Alphabet Earnings Beat Expectations (GOOGL, AAPL)

    Alphabet's earnings crush analysts' expectations; now bigger than Apple?
  1. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>
Trading Center