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3 Stocks to Buy for a Happy Thanksgiving

  • These three Thanksgiving stocks are also some of the best stocks to buy beyond the holidays.
  • Seaboard (SEB): Turkeys are a small part of its business.
  • Campbell Soup Company (CPB): It remains a soup company at its core.
  • Diageo (DEO): It continues to grow nicely, in part through acquisitions. 
thanksgiving stocks - 3 Stocks to Buy for a Happy Thanksgiving

Source: Shutterstock

If you’re looking for stocks to buy, you might want to consider how much Americans spend on Thanksgiving.

According to Statista, the average American spent $421 annually on the country’s favorite holiday over the past three years. Based on 332.4 million people, Americans will spend an estimated $140 billion to celebrate the holiday this year.

While there will be some penny-pinching in this inflationary environment, Americans will still spend their fair share on all the necessary trimmings to enjoy the holiday with family and friends.

So, it makes sense that investors at this time of year consider Thanksgiving stocks that will do well not only over the next week, but into 2023 and beyond.

Not surprisingly, my three picks revolve around food and drink, two favorite pastimes of Americans at Thanksgiving (besides football).

Each of these three Thanksgiving stocks will make you money over the long haul. Read on, and I’ll tell you why I think Diageo (NYSE:DEO) is the best of the bunch.

SEB Seaboard $3,954.59
CPB Campbell Soup Company $52.19
DEO Diageo $178.31

Seaboard (SEB)

An image of ButterBall LLC Premium Whole Turkeys
Source: Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

My apologies to the vegans and vegetarians out there, but if you’re a meat eater, turkey is the entrée of choice for a majority of Americans on Thanksgiving. In fact, according to the National Turkey Federation (NTF), that is what 88% of Americans eat on this holiday. This year that works out to more than 293 million people. 

More importantly, according to the NTF, Americans are expected to pay $1.1 billion for their turkeys this year. This is up 15.3% from 2021. The average cost of a turkey has been on the rise since 2018.

One of the problems this year is that an avian flu outbreak has killed at least 3.6% of the turkey population in the U.S., adding to the existing shortages. That means higher turkey prices. 

Seaboard (NYSEMKT:SEB) happens to hold a 50% non-controlling interest in Butterball LLC, one of the largest producers of turkey products in the U.S. It produces more than one billion pounds of turkey products each year from six plants in North Carolina, Arkansas and Missouri. 

In 2021, the company’s turkey segment had sales of $1.79 billion and an operating loss of $34 million. While not a big money-maker for Seaboard, in April it exercised the option to acquire an additional 5% of Butterball’s equity. It could do this at any time prior to Dec. 31, 2025.

Seaboard makes most of its profits from its Marine segment. This segment provides shipping services between North America, the Caribbean, Central and South America. It owns 25 vessels and 60,000 containers with shipping terminals in Houston and Miami. In the three months that ended Oct. 1, 2022, it had $525 million in sales and $155 million in operating income. 

This stock has performed sporadically since 2014. You’ll want to pick your entry point under $3,500 if possible. 

Campbell Soup Company (CPB)

A variety of Campbell's soups in a grocery store. CPB stock.
Source: Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock

What goes with turkey? Stuffing, of course. Now, many households will make it from scratch, but for those not so inclined, Pure Wow recently reviewed the 10 best boxed stuffing mixes. Getting the nod was the Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing. 

The Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) owns Pepperidge Farm. In addition to its stuffing products, the division is best known for its Goldfish crackers. Campbell acquired Pepperidge Farm in 1961 when it had just $32 million in sales and 58 products. In 2011, when the company celebrated 50 years owning the brand, its sales were $1.3 billion. 

In March 2018, the company acquired Snyder’s-Lance for $6.1 billion, including the assumption of debt. The acquisition combined Snyder’s-Lance with Pepperidge Farm to form Campbell Snacks.

In fiscal year 2022 (July 31 year-end), the snacks business accounted for 46% of the company’s $8.56 billion in sales and 37% of its operating profit. Campbell’s Meals & Beverages business is the more profitable of the two operating units with a 19% operating margin, 590 basis points higher than snacks.

Why buy CPB stock?

The products Campbell makes will always be in demand from consumers. They might not always be flying off the shelf, but you’ll make money over the long run. And the 2.84% dividend yield makes it easier to wait for that next growth spurt.

Diageo (DEO)

A photo of four people holding glasses with cocktails in them out in a toast, over a wooden table.
Source: Cabeca de Marmore/ShutterStock.com

The other thing that goes with Thanksgiving turkey besides stuffing is a nice cocktail, a bottle of wine or even a shot. Diageo’s got you covered for all three.

In the 2021 Thanksgiving stocking period — Nov. 23 to 25 — Diageo’s products accounted for five out of the top 10 selling liquor brands for Drizly, the liquor delivery service. The Diageo brands in the top 10 included Casamigos tequila (#2), Johnnie Walker Scotch (#3), Don Julio tequila (#4), Bulleit Bourbon (#5) and Smirnoff vodka (#10).

Many of the brands Diageo sells were acquisitions made over many years. It continues to make acquisitions to complement its existing roster of brands. 

In March 2022, it acquired 21Seeds flavored tequila. On Nov. 2, it acquired Balcones Distilling, a Texas-based craft distiller of American Single Malt Whisky. In the years ahead, it will continue to add to and prune its roster to meet the needs of its customers. 

On Nov. 1, Diageo announced the fourth and final phase of its return of capital program. It plans to buy back up to 640 million British pounds ($755.7 million) of its stock in fiscal year 2023 (June year-end). With the final tranche of shares, it will have repurchased 4.5 billion British pounds ($5.31 billion) of its stock since implementing the four-phase plan in January 2020.

Diageo’s revenue increased 21.4% in FY2022 to 15.5 billion British pounds ($18.3 billion) with strong growth across all of its operating regions. Its operating profit in 2022 grew 18.2% to 4.4 billion British pounds ($5.2 billion).

It expects FY2023 to be challenging. However, it continues to focus on growing organic net sales by 5-7% annually while growing operating profits by 6-9% each year.

Trading at 5.63x sales, its stock is cheaper than it’s been since 2017.

On the date of publication, Will Ashworth 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.

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


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