Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hot Food Stocks For 2014

Among recent enforcement actions, the Department of Labor oversaw the restoration of nearly $2 million in 401(k) benefits to the employees of Lange Trucking Inc., a contractor with the U.S. Postal Service.

In addition, the SEC charged Diamond Foods for boosting earnings growth via an accounting scheme to inflate the price of walnuts.

DOL Sees Nearly $2 Million Restored to U.S. Postal Contractors

After an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, Lange Trucking Inc. was on the hook for nearly $2 million in unpaid 401(k) contributions for its employees.

Lange, which had a contract with the U.S. Postal Service that employed 515 drivers, had failed to make the contributions — and had been previously investigated several times by Wage and Hour. It was acquired, subsequent to its violations, by Eagan, Minn.-based Hoovestal Inc., which voluntarily agreed to provide the bulk of the missing benefit contributions — $1.48 million — while Lange itself agreed to provide $500,000.

Hot Oil Service Companies To Watch For 2015: Wasgau Produktions & Handels AG (MSH)

Wasgau Produktions & Handels AG is a Germany-based retailer and producer of food articles. The Company divides its business activities into the two main segments Wholesale and Retail. The Wholesale�� businesses include seven Cash and Carry markets for restaurateurs and wholesale customers, as well as commercial businesses of the holding company WASGAU Produktions & Handels AG, which are supported by its subsidiary WASGAU Dienstleistungs & Logistik GmbH, active within warehouse management and transportation. The Operations within the Retail segment are mainly carried out through Company�� subsidiaries WASGAU Metzgerei GmbH and WASGAU Baeckerei & Konditorei GmbH, which produce and supply its stores with a variety of meats and bakery products, respectively. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated through 24 affiliated companies and subsidiaries located in Germany. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rex Crum]

    The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) �fell by 18 points to close at 4,113, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) �and the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) �were also in the red.

  • [By Rex Crum]

    The action helped push the Nasdaq (COMP) �up by 14 points to close at 3,943. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (COMP) �rose 0.4% and the Morgan Stanley High-Tech Index (MSH) �also closed with a small gain.

  • [By Dan Gallagher]

    The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) � rose 0.9% to 3,807 while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) � rose by 0.8% and the Morgan Stanley High-Tech Index (MSH) �rose by 0.9%.

Hot Food Stocks For 2014: General Mills Inc (GIS)

General Mills, Inc. (General Mills), incorporated on June 20, 1928, is a manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. The Company is also a supplier of branded and unbranded food products to the foodservice and commercial baking industries. The Company manufactures its products in 15 countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. The Company's joint ventures manufacture and market products in more than 130 countries and republics worldwide. General Mills operates in three segments: U.S. Retail, International, and Bakeries and Foodservice. In addition, the Company sells ready-to-eat cereals through its Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) joint venture. In February 2012, General Mills acquired Food Should Taste Good, a natural snack foods company based in Needham Heights, Mass. During the fiscal year ended May 27, 2012, the Company acquired a 51% interest in Yoplait S.A.S. and a 50% interest in Yoplait Marques S.A.S. In August 2012, it acquired Yoki Alimentos SA.

General Mills�� ready-to-eat cereals consists of Cheerios, Wheaties, Lucky Charms, Total, Trix, Golden Grahams, Chex, Kix, Fiber One, Reese�� Puffs, Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Clusters, Oatmeal Crisp and Basic 4. Its refrigerated yogurt include Yoplait, Trix, Delights, Go-GURT, Fiber One, YoPlus, Whips!, Mountain High, Liberte, YOP, Perle de Lait, Petits Filous and Panier. The Company�� refrigerated and frozen dough products consists of Pillsbury, the Pillsbury Doughboy character, Grands!, Golden Layers, Big Deluxe, Toaster Strudel, Toaster Scrambles, Simply, Savorings, Jus-Rol, Latina, Pasta Master, Wanchai Ferry, V.Pearl and La Saltena. The dry dinners and shelf stable and frozen vegetable products includes Betty Crocker, Hamburger Helper, Tuna Helper, Chicken Helper, Old El Paso, Green Giant, Potato Buds, Suddenly Salad, Bac*O��, Betty Crocker Complete Meals, Valley Selections, Simply Steam, Valley Fresh Steamers, Wanchai Ferry, Diablitos and Parampara. Its gr! ain, fruit, and savory snacks consists of Nature Valley, Fiber One, Betty Crocker, Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit By The Foot, Gushers, Chex Mix, Gardetto��, Bugles, Food Should Taste Good and Larabar. The sessert and baking mixes includes Betty Crocker, SuperMoist, Warm Delights, Bisquick and Gold Medal. Ready-to-serve soup consists of Progresso. The Company�� ice cream and frozen desserts include Haagen-Dazs, Secret Sensations, Cream Crisp and Dolce. Its frozen pizza and pizza snacks includes Totino��, Jeno��, Pizza Rolls, Party Pizza, Pillsbury Pizza Pops and Pillsbury Pizza Minis. General Mills�� organic products include Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen.

The Company�� products are marketed under trademarks and service marks that are owned by or licensed to the Company. Some of the brand names include Dora the Explorer, Disney Cars, and Disney Princesses for yogurt, and Dora the Explorer for cereal; Reese's Puffs for cereal; Hershey's chocolate for a variety of products; Weight Watchers as an endorsement for soup and frozen vegetable products; Macaroni Grill for dry and frozen dinners; Sunkist for baking products and fruit snacks; Cinnabon for refrigerated dough, frozen pastries, and baking products; Bailey's for super-premium ice cream, and a range of characters and brands for fruit snacks, including Scooby Doo, Batman, Tom and Jerry, Ocean Spray, Thomas the Tank Engine, My Little Pony, Transformers, and various Warner Bros. and Nickelodeon characters. Its primary customers include grocery stores, mass merchandisers, membership stores, natural food chains, drug, dollar and discount chains, commercial and noncommercial foodservice distributors and operators, restaurants, and convenience stores.

U.S. Retail segment

The Company�� U.S. Retail segment reflects business with a range of grocery stores, mass merchandisers, membership stores, natural food chains, and drug, dollar and discount chains operating throughout the United States. Its product categories in thi! s busines! s segment include ready-to-eat cereals, refrigerated yogurt, ready-to-serve soup, dry dinners, shelf stable and frozen vegetables, refrigerated and frozen dough products, dessert and baking mixes, frozen pizza and pizza snacks, grain, fruit and savory snacks, and a range of organic products, including granola bars, cereal and soup.

International segment

The Company�� International segment consists of retail and foodservice businesses outside of the United States. In Canada, its product categories include ready-to-eat cereals, shelf stable and frozen vegetables, dry dinners, refrigerated and frozen dough products, dessert and baking mixes, frozen pizza snacks, refrigerated yogurt, and grain and fruit snacks. In markets outside North America, its product categories include super-premium ice cream and frozen desserts, refrigerated yogurt, grain snacks, shelf stable and frozen vegetables, refrigerated and frozen dough products, and dry dinners. Its International segment also includes products manufactured in the United States for export, mainly to Caribbean and Latin American markets, as well as products it manufactures for sale to its international joint ventures.

Bakeries and Foodservice segment

In Company�� Bakeries and Foodservice segment its product categories include cereals, snacks, refrigerated yogurt, unbaked and fully baked frozen dough products, baking mixes, and flour. It sells to distributors and operators in many customer channels, including foodservice, convenience stores, vending and supermarket bakeries.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Daniel James]

    General Mills (NYSE: GIS  ) , another staunch opponent of the proposed labeling law, seems to be faring a little better. First-quarter 2014 EPS met analyst expectations, with net sales up 8% to approximately $4.4 billion for the quarter. New products such as Yoplait Greek yogurt and the perhaps unfortunately named Nature Valley Oatmeal Squares contributed to the solid performance. The company reaffirmed its full-year guidance, expecting some decent growth, but investors will be very curious to see how the planned labeling legislation plays out. In any case, the three-to-five year expected growth rate of 7.6% is nothing to write home about.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    And it's a crowded market, too: Privately held Chobani is the dominant player, with a 42% share of the Greek yogurt market.�General Mills'� (NYSE: GIS  ) Yoplait, which is the �No. 2 player in the regular yogurt market, is�trying to make up for lost time and a false start in Greek yogurt so it commands a share of only 9%. Fage, which started the craze, has slipped to third place.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, food giant General Mills (NYSE: GIS  ) has earned a respected four-star ranking.


    Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images NEW YORK -- Plain old Cheerios are no longer made with genetically modified ingredients, but the switch hasn't yet translated to a boost in sales. General Mills (GIS), the company that makes the cereal, in January announced it would start making its plain Cheerios without GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. The move came after a campaign by the group Green America, which prompted fans to express their support on the Cheerios' Facebook (FB) page. On Wednesday, CEO Ken Powell said in a phone interview that the company has gotten supportive letters and online comments for its decision. But he said the company was "not really seeing anything there that we can detect" in terms of a sales lift. "It's what I expected," Powell said. He added that genetically modified organisms aren't really a concern for most customers. Americans have been moving away from cereal more broadly, as alternatives such as Greek yogurt or breakfast sandwiches have gained popularity. That has left General Mills and rival Kellogg (K) struggling to boost sales. Cheerios is no exception; Powell conceded that sales have been "down somewhat" for the brand. As for GMOs, there has been little scientific evidence showing that foods grown from engineered ingredients are less safe than their conventional counterparts. But their use has become a growing issue, with some saying they could have longer-term health impacts and that people have the right to know if genetically modified ingredients are used in foods. Cheerios boxes are now labeled as being "Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients," which is not an official certification. The change doesn't apply to other boxes of Cheerios, such as Honey Nut Cheerios or Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, which still use genetically modified ingredients.

Hot Food Stocks For 2014: Nash-Finch Company(NAFC)

Nash-Finch Company operates as a wholesale food distributor in the United States. The company?s Military segment distributes grocery products to the United States military commissaries and exchanges in the United States and the District of Columbia, Europe, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Azores, Egypt, and Bahrain. Its Food Distribution segment sells and distributes various branded and private label grocery products and perishable food products to approximately 1,500 independent retail locations through its 14 distribution centers. This segment also provides various services, including promotional, advertising, and merchandising programs; installation of computerized ordering, receiving, and scanning systems; retail equipment procurement assistance; accounting, budgeting, and payroll contract services; consumer and market research; remodeling and store development services; supply chain through Internet services; and securing existing grocery stores. The company?s Retail segment operates corporate-owned grocery stores under the Sun Mart, Econofoods, AVANZA, Family Thrift Center, Pick ?n Save, Family Fresh Market, Prairie Market, Saver?s Choice, Wally?s Supermarkets, and Wholesale Food Outlet banners primarily in the states of Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This segment?s conventional grocery stores offer a range of grocery products and services, such as fresh meat counters, delicatessens, bakeries, eat-in cafes, pharmacies, banks, and floral departments, as well as provide check cashing, fax services, and money transfer services. As of December 31, 2011, the company served 93 retail stores operating under the IGA banner and 50 retail stores under the Food Pride banner; and operated 43 conventional supermarkets, 1 AVANZA grocery store, 1 Wholesale Food Outlet grocery store, and 1 Saver?s Choice store. Nash-Finch Company was founded in 1885 and is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Alex Planes]

    Sysco has avoided the margin compression suffered by chicken producers Tyson (NYSE: TSN  ) and Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ: CALM  ) and which was more deeply felt by smaller food-service operator Nash-Finch (NASDAQ: NAFC  ) . (It is omitted from this chart due to its drop into outright negative operating margin territory (a decline of roughly 250% in two years.) However, fellow food-service company United Natural Foods (NASDAQ: UNFI  ) has actually improved its margins, and restaurant chains both large and small (well, mid-size) have done an admirable job of holding the margin line in the face of rising input costs. So it appears that scale alone isn't enough to help Sysco outrun the rising costs of its products.

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    What: Shares of Nash-Finch (NASDAQ: NAFC  ) and Spartan Stores (NASDAQ: SPTN  ) jumped as much as 16% and 15%, respectively, after Spartan said it would buy Nash-Finch, primarily for its military stores.

Hot Food Stocks For 2014: Ingredion Inc (INGR)

Ingredion Incorporated (Ingredion), formerly Corn Products International, Inc., incorporated on March 27, 1997, is a global manufacturer and supplier of starch and sweetener ingredients to a range of industries, including packaged food, beverage, brewing and industrial customers. The Company's product line includes starches and sweeteners, animal feed products and edible corn oil.

The Company's starch-based products include both food-grade and industrial starches. The Company's sweetener products include glucose syrups, high maltose syrups, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), caramel color, dextrose, polyols, maltodextrins and glucose and syrup solids. The Company's products are derived primarily from the processing of corn and other starch-based materials, such as tapioca, potato and rice.

Sweetener Products

The Company's sweetener products represented approximately 44% of the Company's net sales for the year ended December 31, 2012. Glucose syrups are fundamental ingredients used in food products, such as baked goods, snack foods, beverages, canned fruits, condiments, candy and other sweets, dairy products, ice cream, jams and jellies, prepared mixes and table syrups. Glucose syrups offer functionality in addition to sweetness to processed foods. High Maltose Syrup is special type of glucose syrup, which is primarily used as a fermentable sugar in brewing beers. High maltose syrups are also used in the production of confections, canning and some other food processing applications. The Company's high maltose syrups actually speeds the fermentation process, allowing brewers to increase capacity without adding capital.

High fructose corn syrup is used in a variety of consumer products, including soft drinks, fruit-flavored beverages, baked goods, dairy products, confections and other food and beverage products. In addition to sweetness and ease of use, high fructose corn syrup provides body,humectancy and aids in browning, freezing point and crystalliza! tion control.

Dextrose has a range of applications in the food and confection industries, in solutions for intravenous and other pharmaceutical applications, and numerous industrial applications like wallboard, biodegradable surface agents and moisture control agents. Dextrose functionality in foods, beverages and confectionary includes sweetness control; body and viscosity; acts as a bulking, drying and anti-caking agent; serves as a carrier; provides freezing point and crystallization control; and aids in fermentation. Dextrose is also a fermentation agent in the production of light beer. In pharmaceutical applications dextrose is used in IV solutions as well as an excipient suitable for direct compression in tableting.

Polyols products are sugar-free, reduced calorie sweeteners primarily derived from starch or sugar for the food, beverage, confectionery, industrial, personal and oral care, and nutritional supplement markets. In addition to sweetness, polyols inhibit crystallization; provide binding, humectancy and plasticity; add texture; extend shelf life; prevent moisture migration, and are an excipient suitable for tableting.

Maltodextrins and Glucose Syrup Solids products have a multitude of food applications, including formulations where liquid syrups cannot be used. Maltodextrins are resistant to browning, provide solubility, have a low hydroscopicity (do not retain moisture), and are ideal for their carrier/bulking properties. Glucose syrup solids have a bland flavor, remain clear in solution are easy to handle and provide bulking properties.

Starch Products

The Company's starch products represented approximately 37 % of the Company's net sales for 2012. Starches are an important component in a range of processed foods, where they are used for adhesions, clouding, dusting, expansion, fat replacement, freshness, gelling, glazing, mouth feel, stabilization and texture. Starches are also used in paper production to create a smooth s! urface fo! r printed communications and to improve strength in recycled papers. Specialty starches are used for enhanced drainage, fiber retention, oil and grease resistance, improved printability and biochemical oxygen demand control. Industrial starches are used in the production of construction materials, textiles, adhesives, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, as well as in mining, water filtration and oil and gas drilling. Specialty starches are used for biomaterial applications including biodegradable plastics, fabric softeners and detergents, hair and skin care applications, dusting powders for surgical gloves and in the production of glass fiber and insulation.

Co-Products and others

Co-products and others accounted for 19% of the Company's net sales for 2012. Refined corn oil (from germ) is sold to packers of cooking oil and to producers of margarine, salad dressings, shortening, mayonnaise and other foods. Corn gluten feed is sold as animal feed. Corn gluten meal is sold as high protein feed for chickens, pet food and aquaculture.

The Company competes with ADM Corn Processing Division (ADM), Cargill, Inc. and Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas, Inc.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    What: Shares of Ingredion (NYSE: INGR  ) were down as much as 10% today after the ingredient seller cut its full-year and current-quarter EPS forecast.

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