Last Friday, all the major indexes hit all-time closing highs, and while that is awesome when you check your brokerage or 401(k) statement, the reality is we are set up for a sell-off. While it may not come in December, it is coming. The perennial optimists on Wall Street remain just that, but many of the top firms we cover are urging caution. While equities remain the best way to stay invested, it may be time to shift to safer sectors.
A recent Jefferies report looks at the consumer staples sector. It seems that nearly 60% of staples companies the analysts screened include a cash flow or capital efficiency metric for executive compensation, aligning management to long-term shareholder value creation. In a world where many C-Suite executives put their interest first, this is huge for investors.
While Jefferies remains very selective in the sector, seven top companies stand out. Here we chose five that always remain popular with consumers and make sense for growth investors looking to shift from momentum or crowded growth stocks to safer positions.
While all are rated Buy at Jefferies, it is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.
While very well known for its namesake products, this company brings a lot more to the table. Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) engages in the manufacture and marketing of food and beverage products.
The Meals & Beverages segment engages in the retail and foodservice businesses in the United States and Canada. It provides Campbell’s condensed and ready-to-serve soups; Swanson broth and stocks; Pacific Foods broth, soups and nondairy beverages; Prego pasta sauces; Pace Mexican sauces; Campbell’s gravies, pasta, beans and dinner sauces; Swanson canned poultry; Plum baby food and snacks; V8 juices and beverages; and Campbell’s tomato juice.
The Snacks segment retails Pepperidge Farm cookies, crackers, fresh bakery and frozen products in the United States; Milano cookies and Goldfish crackers; and Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels; Lance sandwich crackers; Cape Cod and Kettle Brand potato chips; Late July snacks; Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps; Pop Secret popcorn; Emerald nuts; and other snacking products in the United States and Canada.
Investors enjoy a solid 2.89% dividend. Jefferies has a $59 price objective for the stock, which compares to the lower $53.33 Wall Street consensus target and Friday’s closing price for Campbell Soup of $48.50 a share.
This is a solid stock for conservative investors looking for growth and income. Conagra Brands Inc. (NYSE: CAG) operates as a food company in North America. Its brands include Marie Callender’s, Reddi-whip, Hunt’s, Healthy Choice, Slim Jim, Orville Redenbacher’s, Alexia, Blake’s, Duke’s, Frontera, Banquet and Chef Boyardee.
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