The U.S. economy is heavily dependent upon consumer spending.
That means when the economic numbers are on the rise, the U.S. consumer is also on the rise. The Federal Reserve just raised interest rates for the second time this year and it says it will likely raise it two more times in 2018. And instead of rocking the market, the market took it as a positive sign that the 10-year economic doldrums may be at an end. I’ll take it one step at a time.
For now, the U.S. consumer is feeling good again and spending is up. When this trend starts, however, it doesn’t start with big-ticket durables. It starts with smaller things — upgrading brands and trying new products.
That’s precisely where we are now and that’s why I think its time to look at these 10 blue-chip consumer stocks to buy now. They’re solid companies but will now see some real growth which will keep moving their stocks higher.
Blue-Chip Consumer Stocks to Buy: Central Garden and Pet (CENT)
Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENT) is exactly as the name implies. Its chief businesses are garden supplies and controls and pet food and supplies.
While this may not sound like the dynamic kinds of sectors you want to put your money into to watch it grow, remember that housing prices are rising quickly. Keeping a nice yard is part of that all-important curb appeal. And this is the season when there’s a lot of spending in this sector, especially after a cold snap delayed spring plantings.
And the trend in the U.S. is more pets and fewer children for the millennials. Spending on pet products and pet care is a long-term bullish market. Given the size of CENT (around $2 billion market cap) it will really leverage this growth.
Blue-Chip Consumer Stocks to Buy: Estee Lauder (EL)
Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE:EL) has been around in one form or another in the beauty product sector since the end of World War II. That’s a very impressive record given the fact that there are few sectors as fickle as fragrances and beauty products.
To find products that can endure the test of time and remain signature products is very difficult.
What is also difficult is to keep growing that business by making smart purchases over the years to keep up with trends and supplement signature lines with trendy, affordable lines when the economy is sluggish, without compromising your brand.
EL has done this with great success and continues to deliver earnings to prove it. And with a sturdy $57 billion market cap and a stock up 23% year to date, it has plenty of momentum moving forward.
Blue-Chip Consumer Stocks to Buy: Turtle Beach (HEAR)
Turtle Beach Corp (NASDAQ:HEAR) is a small company — $310 million market cap — that is this generations version of high-end audio headphones back in the early days of stereo and quadrophonic sound systems.
Its specialty is the high-growth video gaming sector. It specializes in gaming headsets, and it’s doing very well. For example, for its Q1 earnings in early May, HEAR announced that revenue was up 185% compared to the same quarter last year and margins doubled. Yes, doubled.
The stock is up 1,100% year to date, so it is certainly on a tear. Another very interesting technology the company is developing is HyperSound which delivers sound in a narrow beam for kiosks and advertising.
Blue-Chip Consumer Stocks to Buy: LGI Homes (LGIH)
LGI Homes Inc (NASDAQ:LGIH) specializes in value priced homes in high-growth areas of the country — the Southeast, Southwest and the West Coast.
Because it’s on the value end of the market, it can get buffeted by housing starts that are affected by interest rates. Price sensitive buyers will be more cautious when interest rates are rising than home buyers that are looking for luxury properties.
But the trend is in LGIH’s favor. Not only are their more people on the first-time buying end, but there are also aging baby boomers that are downgrading and moving to warmer climes now that their kids are out and starting families of their own.
LGI is off almost 20% year to date, which makes this a home builder at a great discount and leveraged to good housing news.
Blue-Chip Consumer Stocks to Buy: Lamb Weston (LW)
Lamb Weston Holdings Inc (NYSE:LW) has been around since 1950, focused one thing. I’ll give you a hint. The company is headquartered in Idaho. Yep, it is a leading supplier ($9.4 billion market cap) of potatoes and sweet potatoes in North America.
Once a division of ConAgra, it was spun off on its own in late 2016 and has been doing very well ever since.
There are few things more American than French fries … and few things more ubiquitous. They’re on every fast food menu and even up-market, potatoes in one form or another are a reliable go-to option. Most of those come from LW.
Up 16% year to date, as more people dine out, the more fries (and of course other complementary products) LW will sell. Ah, delicious growth.
Blue-Chip Consumer Stocks to Buy: MakeMyTrip (MMYT)
MakeMyTrip Ltd (NASDAQ:MMYT) is a travel booking site in India. That may not sound that interesting given the fact the U.S. has so many online travel companies (many of which are owned by a handful of companies). But there are a couple things to bear in mind here. Those Western sites aren’t in India, or aren’t as connected to their base. Second, there are over 1 billion people in India and the economy is improving.
Even if outside travel companies are grabbing international business, domestic travel is getting huge. MMYT is already trading at a $3.5 billion market cap. The stock is up 30% year to date.
All this points to MMYT becoming a major player in South Asia, or one of the big firms steps in and buys it out at a big premium. Either way, stockholders are winners.
Blue-Chip Consumer Stocks to Buy: Nu Skin (NUS)
Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:NUS) creates and distributes beauty and wellness products, primarily in a direct selling organization throughout Asia, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Basically it’s a next generation of what Avon did several decades ago. But NUS has taken that model to emerging markets and places where expanding middle classes are looking for improved beauty and wellness products.
Also bear in mind, many places in the emerging markets don’t have major retailers in every city, so by having the products come to the customers, there’s a much greater opportunity to sell.
And this is reflect in NUS’ recent Q1 numbers — earnings were up 20%, revenue was up 24% and new customers were up 11%. NUS stock is up 22% year to date.
Blue-Chip Consumer Stocks to Buy: Planet Fitness (PLNT)
Planet Fitness Inc (NASDAQ:PLNT) is a no-frills, hassle-free fitness company that functions off a franchise model throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.
Basically, there are four basic membership plans. A $10 a month plan, a $22 a month plan and a $199 prepaid plan that includes the annual membership fee ($39) and the start-up fee ($29-$49).
For the cheapest plan, you get unlimited access to your local gym and access to a trainer. For the $22 plan you get access to massage chairs, discounts on equipment and products, the ability to use any Planet Fitness anywhere, etc.
And there’s no long-term commitment.
Sound good? Well, it’s working. PLNT is up 30% year to date and keeps crushing the numbers. And as a franchise-based organization, it has a much easier time growing.
Blue-Chip Consumer Stocks to Buy: Primo Water (PRMW)
Primo Water Corporation (NASDAQ:PRMW) would have never made it 30 or 40 years ago. The concept that people would have water coolers in their houses and many people would no longer trust their local water supply would have been crazy talk.
But no more.
PRMW is now everywhere and continuing to grow its locations as well as its business. It is also the next iteration in the desire to drink clean water without using all those plastic bottles that were so trendy a decade ago.
Now look outside, or just inside your grocery store — you’ll likely see a Primo Water kiosk where you can drop off and pick up water.
This is one of those trends that will be even more popular as millennials and Gen Zers start to make these purchasing decisions for their own apartments, homes and offices.
Up 35% year to date, this is megatrend is just starting.
Blue-Chip Consumer Stocks to Buy: Samuel Adams (SAM)
Samuel Adams (NYSE: SAM) can be credited with starting the independent beer revolution in the US.
The origin story is Jim Koch, straight out of his fancy MBA program wanted to start a brewery. He went to his uncle who worked for the powerful Solomon Brothers trading firm. Koch had a spreadsheet, budgets, plans for office space, etc.
His uncle asked one question: Have you made any beer? And if you have, have you sold any?
Koch immediately got the message. Make the product, sell the product and the rest will take care of itself.
And so it has. What’s more, SAM is still an independent brewer, which is highly unusual, as the big firms are constantly adding gems like SAM to their crowns.
Up 52% year to date, SAM can keep this going for a long time.
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of four investing newsletters: Growth Investor, Breakthrough Stocks, Accelerated Profits and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Growth Investor, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters