As the first wave of the pandemic swept across countries in 2020, consumer spending fell dramatically. And companies rely on consumers to buy their goods and services. So, when consumer spending plateaued, consumer stocks also were in freefall. But the time is ripe for investors to get involved again.
The consumer sector consists of companies that manufacture and sell goods necessary for everyday use. These products include household items, foodstuffs, drinks, hygiene supplies and other miscellaneous items. Essentially they’re the things which most people are either unwilling or unable to avoid buying, even when times get tough. Many consumers rely on them heavily, and don’t want them to go away.
In an increasingly uncertain economic climate, these companies are viewed as being able to maintain stable growth regardless of the state of our economy.
Let’s take a look at seven consumer stocks that have excellent price momentum, robust sales, and affordable value:
- Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)
- Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)
- General Mills (NYSE:GIS)
- Bunge (NYSE:BG)
- Hershey (NYSE:HSY)
- Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE:ADM)
- Albertsons (NYSE:ACI)
Consumer Stocks to Buy: Procter & Gamble Co. (PG)
Procter & Gamble is taking steps to grow despite tough challenges. Management warns that supply-chain issues will take a bigger bite out of earnings for fiscal 2022 — but they’re still positive overall, because P&G grew even when things were at their worst.
Organic sales growth for P&G hit a new high this past year, with an impressive 6%. It’s not as fast of an increase as last time around. But there are plenty more reasons to be excited about the company right now. Its recent expansion trends show a solid balance between volume and pricing, with both factors accounting for about half of the latest revenue surge.
P&G’s efficiency is still on point. The company reported nearly $5 billion in operating cash flow in the most recent quarter, and it converted much of it into free cash. It’s easy to see why the company’s market capitalization stands at over $350 billion — easily making it one of the most valuable businesses out there.
Coca-Cola Co. (KO)
Coca-Cola is Warren Buffett’s oldest stock position. The Coca-Cola Company has been providing the best returns for several years for Buffet. His cost basis for the stock is around $3.25, giving him gains so far of over 1,500%.
Buffet’s buy was considered risky because many investors still remembered the Black Monday crash from October 1987. However, it showed his propensity to be aggressive when others were on the fence. In many ways, Buffet was the original Cathie Wood, an investor who is more known for her aggressive moves than any other major investor.
In the 1980s, investor sentiment changed as memories of a tumultuous 1970s faded and morphed into optimism over an up-and-coming bull market. The rest is investing history. Coca-Cola has now considered one of the best Buffet stock picks ever.
Over the last three years, the company has seen EPS and top-line grow by 40.5% and 5.4%, respectively. Meanwhile, dividends have grown consecutively over the last 59 years. Hence, it is a member of the Dividend Aristocrats, a select group of S&P 500 constituents that have increased their dividends for at least 25 years in a row.
Consumer Stocks to Buy: General Mills (GIS)
General Mills has manufactured consumer foods since 1928. It is best known for Cheerios breakfast cereal and Fiber One bread. But they have plenty of other products on offer, making it very much a conglomerate. It offers a range of food products, including snacks and healthy choices. This includes grain-based foods as well as fruit or savory options such as nutrition bars.
The company is also known for stable, predictable performance. It is highly valued among income investors due to its long history of dividends.
On the financials front, it is all systems go. General Mills reported 99 cents per share in profits from $4.5 billion sales for its first quarter of fiscal 2022. Sales jumped approximately 4% over the year-ago period. The company maintained its full-year outlook for comparable sales growth of about 1% to 3%. However, earnings are expected to be flat with last year’s period.
The muted earnings outlook may lead a certain section of investors away from this one.
In addition, earnings growth was boosted by the pandemic trend of eating at home. Now that things are getting back to normal, investors are worried business might slow down. That is until earnings reports started coming out with increased profitability for restaurants chains that invested in new menu items or remodeled their stores to appeal more towards healthier choices such as salads. That healthy trend will continue to have an impact moving forward.
Bunge Limited is a food and agricultural company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. It is an international soybean exporting and food processing company with grain trading and fertilizer interests. The company is a solid performer and has been doing well for quite some time. CNBC data shows the company has beaten analyst estimates in the last six quarters, a hallmark of consistency.
Bunge reported excellent Q3 results and raised its full-year profit outlook for the third time this year. The company credits its success to enhanced demand in food and renewable fuel markets.
Net income attributable to Bunge jumped to $653 million, or $4.28 per share, in Q3 from $262 million, or $1.84 per share, a year earlier. Adjusted EPS of $3.72 per share are a substantial uptick from $2.47 in the year-ago period and handily surpassed analyst estimates of $1.42. Revenue came to $14.12 billion, a substantial jump from $10.16 billion in the year-ago period.
Considering the excellent numbers, the company is now forecasting full-year adjusted income to come in at $11.50 per share, a substantial uptick from the prior outlook of at least $8.50 per share. “We expect the favorable market trends to continue,” CEO Greg Heckman said. He believes robust vegetable oil demand will help profits continue to be at elevated levels “for the next couple of years.”
Consumer Stocks to Buy: Hershey (HSY)
The Hershey Company is a household name with over 100 years of history and an iconic presence on shelves worldwide. A chocolate maker with a worldwide reach, Hershey is one of the largest manufacturers in its industry. It also produces baked goods and sells beverages to countries around the world.
As part of its trend toward healthier products, Hershey completed its acquisition of Lily’s for $425 million earlier this year. Cynthia Tice founded this company in 2010 with a mission to quit sugar but still enjoy sweet treats from time to time. The snacks at Lily’s contain no added sugars or artificial ingredients whatsoever.
In June, HSY discussed its growth plans. The company’s research has found that one in four online purchases happened following a visit to the physical store where they are sold – proving what many expected all along: people still want quality experiences when shopping for their favorite treats! Additionally, 55% to 70% of customers purchase additional items even if it wasn’t on the original list. That’s not just good overall, but provides plenty of opportunities for new products in the development pipeline.
Archer-Daniels-Midland is a world leader in agricultural processing, with hundreds of facilities and 39 thousand employees worldwide. It has paid dividends for 89 consecutive years, and raised them for 47 years as well — making it a Dividend Aristocrat deserving of your attention.
After cutting costs, ADM managed to generate adjusted operating profits of just over $2 billion in fiscal 2020, a very healthy return in a difficult year. In the first quarter, ADM’s adjusted operating profit increased 86% to $1.2 billion thanks to a strong performance from its Ag Services and Oilseeds division which accounts for 65% of overall profits.
More recently, the company delivered yet another stellar quarterly earnings report. The company’s earnings totaled $526 million, or 93 cents per share. It compares well with last year’s third quarter when the figures were only at 40 cents. Excluding one-off items, this adjusted figure rose to a whopping 97 cents. Revenues for the quarter rose 34.4% to $20 billion from last year’s total of $15 billion.
ADM’s business has been improving, which is reflected in the stock’s performance over this past year. Shares are up 32%. Investors interested in consumer staples stocks will likely continue to see good times with ADM stock, with those who invest now poised for success into 2022.
Consumer Stocks to Buy: Albertsons Companies (ACI)
Albertsons Companies is the second-largest grocery store company in America. It has food and retail drug stores, which offer groceries and general merchandise like clothes or furniture.
The grocery store chain from Boise, Idaho, reported solid second quarter results. The company announced net income that climbed 3.8% year over year to $295 million while sales and other revenue grew 4.7% to over $16 billion. An improved consumer environment was driven by digital capabilities they have accelerated through partnerships for omnichannel service offerings, among other factors. Altogether, that makes the company more competitive than ever before — all while increasing the quarterly dividend by 20%.
Much like other consumer staples stocks, this is an incredibly stable enterprise.
On the publication date, Faizan Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Faizan Farooque is a contributing author for InvestorPlace.com and numerous other financial sites. Faizan has several years of experience in analyzing the stock market and was a former data journalist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. His passion is to help the average investor make more informed decisions regarding their portfolio.