The consumer staples sector is comprised of companies that produce and sell items considered essential for everyday use. Consumer staples products include household goods, food, beverages, hygiene products, and other items that individuals are either unwilling or unable to eliminate from their budgets even in times of financial trouble. As a result, these companies are viewed as non-cyclical and able to maintain stable growth regardless of the state of the economy. The big names in the sector include Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), Coca-Cola Co. (KO), and General Mills Inc. (GIS), among others.

Consumer Staples stocks, as represented by the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP), have underperformed the broader market over the past year. The XLP has provided investors with a total return of 6.2% over the past 12 months, below the Russell 1000's total return of 19.5%, as of January 15, 2021. The statistics in the tables below are as of January 15.

Here are the top 3 consumer staples stocks with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Consumer Staples Stocks

These are the consumer staples stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Consumer Staples Stocks

 
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) 46.42 14.1 8.0
Albertsons Companies Inc. (ACI) 17.29 8.0 8.4
The Kroger Co. (KR) 33.70 25.7 9.0

Source: YCharts

  • Campbell Soup Co.: Campbell Soup manufactures and markets food and beverage products, including Prego pasta sauces, Pace Mexican sauces, Kettle Brand potato chips, Emerald nuts, V8 juices, and more. The company recently announced that it plans to close its Columbus, Georgia snacks manufacturing plant by spring 2022. The plant produces candy, crackers, cookies, nuts, and bars.
  • Albertsons Companies Inc.: Albertsons Companies is a grocery store company that operates food and drug retail stores. It offers grocery products, general merchandise, health and beauty care products, pharmacy, fuel, and other items and services. The company posted net income growth of 125.7% on revenue growth of 9.3% in Q3 2020, which ended December 5, 2020. Net income was boosted by lower net interest expenses compared to the year-ago quarter. The company also said it made strong market share gain during the quarter.
  • The Kroger Co.: Kroger operates supermarkets, drug stores, multi-department stores, jewellery stores, and convenience stores. The company also manufactures and processes some of the food it sells in its supermarkets.

Fastest Growing Consumer Staples Stocks

These are the consumer staples stocks with the highest year-over-year (YOY) earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.

Fastest Growing Consumer Staples Stocks

 
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%)
Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) 219.99 42.7 254.1
Coty Inc. (COTY) 6.90 5.3 242.9
Grocery Outlet Holding Corp. (GO) 38.24 3.6 215.4

Source: YCharts

  • Constellation Brands Inc.: Constellation Brands is an alcoholic beverage company engaged in the production, marketing, and distribution of beer, wine, and spirits. The company reported a 252.5% increase in net income on revenue growth of 21.9% in Q3 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), which ended November 5, 2020. Costs of products sold and other expenses rose at a slower rate than revenue, helping to boost net income.
  • Coty Inc.: Coty is a maker and distributor of beauty products. The company's products include color cosmetics, hygiene products, fragrances, sun care products, and skin treatments. Coty products are sold in department stores, retailers, and airport duty free shops around the world. The company announced in early December the promotion of Laurent Mercier to the role of chief financial officer (CFO). Mr. Laurent, who currently serves as the company's deputy CFO, succeeds Pierre-André Terisse and will begin his tenure as CFO on February 15, 2021.
  • Grocery Outlet Holding Corp.: Grocery Outlet Holding owns and operates grocery stores, which offer dairy, meat, vegetables, fruits, and more.

Consumer Staples Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the consumer staples stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Consumer Staples Stocks with the Most Momentum

 
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Boston Beer Co Inc. (SAM) 907.22 11.1 141.0
Chegg Inc. (CHGG) 97.77 12.6 136.3
2U Inc. (TWOU) 42.65 3.1 101.1
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 19.5
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) N/A N/A 6.2

Source: YCharts

  • Boston Beer Co Inc.: Boston Beer is a brewer engaged in the business of producing and selling craft-brewed beers and cider products at its own breweries and various other contract breweries.
  • Chegg Inc.: Chegg offers online educational services including homework help, and course selection. It also sells products including textbooks for rent and manuals.
  • 2U Inc.: 2U offers online educational services, including graduate and undergraduate degree programs in social work, data science, public administration, healthcare, and a variety of other subjects or disciplines.

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