11 Food and Beverage Stocks That Are Having a Good Year

By Tim Lemke on 29 April 2016 0 comments

Food and drink. They are necessities, and if we invest in companies that produce them, there's a good chance we'll make money.

There are a number of companies whose shares have been off to a great start this year. Here's a list of food and beverage firms that have already delivered positive growth for shareholders in 2016.

1. Coca-Cola [NYSE: KO]

Coke has historically been a great stock to own, due to its long history of steady growth. But in recent years, it's underperformed the market as consumers have shifted to healthier food and beverage options. That said, its investors have made out well so far in 2016, as the company has started a major restructuring. Shares are up more than 9% this year and hit a 52-week high on April 11.

"Even as they brace for another year of shrinking revenue and sluggish earnings from the beverage giant, a growing number are encouraged by an accelerated restructuring that many saw as overdue," Dow Jones reported.

2. Campbell's Soup Co. [NYSE: CPB]

Investing in chicken noodle soup and SpaghettiOs can help your portfolio: Campbell's shares are up nearly 20% this year, powered by a 26% rise in earnings during the last quarter. The company has enjoyed strong results from an aggressive cost-cutting initiative, and investors are expecting to see positive impact from last year's acquisition of Garden Fresh Gourmet. Campbell's also got some good press when it announced all of its cans would be free of BPA by 2017.

3. McDonald's [NYSE: MCD]

It's been tough going for McDonald's in the last couple years, but patient investors are finally being rewarded. Shares are up more than 9.5% this year, as both investors and analysts seem to agree that the company has its operating fundamentals in good order. The stock also responded positively to the news of plans for 1,300 new stores in China.

4. General Mills [NYSE: GIS]

This massive food conglomerate has a market cap of more than $37 billion, making General Mills a veritable blue chip of the food industry. But investors should be especially happy with General Mills' recent performance, which has seen shares rise nearly 9% this year alone. In its last quarterly earnings report, the company announced progress on cost-cutting plans, and a 5% increase in profits.

5. Tyson Foods [NYSE: TSN]

Shares of this massive food processor and marketer are up 22% this year, which is a big jump for a company worth nearly $24 billion. The company's first quarter earnings rose 49%, making analysts bullish on the stock.

"Fiscal 2016 is off to a very strong start in what we expect to be another record year," said Donnie Smith, Tyson's president and chief executive officer in February.

6. Marine Harvest [NASDAQ: MHG]

We know that salmon fight to swim upstream, but there's been no struggle for this Norwegian company, which sells farmed salmon products all over the world. Shares are up 24% in 2016, and the company announced in early April that its first quarter salmon harvest of 97,000 tons exceeded expectations.

7. Molson Coors Brewing [NYSE: TAP]

Shares of the Denver-based brewer began rising in the second half of last year and the momentum has continued, with a 52-week high in early April. The good stock movement is largely the result of last year's announcement that the company would seek to buy the other half of the MillerCoors Joint Venture and the entire Miller brand portfolio for $12 billion. That's a lot of beer brands under one corporate umbrella, and a lot of revenue for investors to salivate over.

8. MGP Ingredients [NASDAQ: MGPI]

It's been a hot couple of months for this producer and supplier of distilled spirits. Recently, the company reported a 7% increase in revenue year over year, and the stock price quickly responded, rising 20% within a month. MGP also got some good press when company officials rang the closing bell of the NASDAQ to celebrate the company's 75th Anniversary in March.

9. National Beverage Corp. [NYSE: FIZZ]

Coke isn't the only soda stock that's hot. National Beverage Corp., the maker of Faygo, Shasta, and other soda brands is also having a great run that began last summer and has continued through 2016. The Florida-based company reported in March that sales from the previous three months rose from $143 million to $162 million. Shares are up nearly 7% in 2016 and more than 80% in the last year.

CNBC's Mad Money host Jim Cramer took note of National Beverage's performance.

"That is an astonishing move for a little-known soft drink maker, and it is really just the tip of the iceberg," Cramer said.

10. Constellation Brands [NYSE: STZ]

This producer and distributor of some of the most popular wine brands has been on a tear in 2016. Shares hit a 52-week high above $160 in early April, and are up more than 12% this year alone. Constellation reported revenues of more than $6.5 billion in the last quarter, beating analysts' estimates, with a 26% increase in net income. Investors are bullish on 2017, as Constellation is expected to make some forays into the profitable craft beer market.

11. Primo Water [NASDAQ: PRMW]

This smallcap stock has had a nice year, with shares up more than 30%. Revenues in the most recent quarter beat analysts' estimates and rose from $29.6 million to $31.5 million. Primo Water is expected to have double-digit earnings growth this year, and that should bode well for the stock.

Do you own any of these food and beverage stocks? Do you have any of their products on your fridge or pantry?

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