U.S. equities are languishing on Friday, backing off of record highs set earlier in the week heading into the long holiday weekend.
Investors are pausing for some reflection amid a heavy batch of economic data (including evidence inflation is moving higher), some hawkish Federal Reserve commentary and more political dynamism out of the Trump White House.
But there’s still action. Especially in consumer staples stocks, which have lagged behind during the post-election rally, thanks to some hot M&A activity: It was reported overnight that Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC) offered to buy Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) in a $143 billion deal. If completed, it would be one of the largest corporate tie ups of all time.
The combination has the entire sector on the move. Here are three stocks worth a look:
Consumer Stocks: Estee Lauder (EL)
Estee Lauder Companies inc (NYSE:EL) shares are extending further out of a three-month consolidation range, closing on its 200-day moving average — a level that was lost back in late August.
The bulls are being helped by positive analyst coverage from Telsey Advisory Group, which maintained their “buy” rating in a note earlier this month citing its large portfolio of strong brands, discounted valuation, and the potential for sales growth to ramp up.
The company will next report results on May 4 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 73 cents per share on revenues of $2.8 billion.
Consumer Stocks: Colgate (CL)
Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) shares are surging on Friday, rising 3.9% to levels not seen since September. The company had been under some pressure amid a focus by Procter & Gamble on its core categories, which had increased competitive pressures and weighed on organic growth.
But with such a large M&A bid coming into the sector from Kraft, valuations are set to get a lift across the board.
The company will next report results on April 28 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 66 cents per share on revenues of $3.8 billion.
Consumer Stocks: Procter & Gamble (PG)
Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) shares have pushed to fresh highs after Nelson Peltz Trian Fund Management reported a new position in the company in its latest 13F filing.
The position is worth roughly $3.5 billion and comes at a time when the company is focused on reinvigorating growth in its core business lines. The surge takes shares up and over resistance in the high-$80s going back to late 2014.
The company will next report results on April 21 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 94 cents per share on revenues of $15.8 billion.