Grocery stores are notoriously competitive, low margin businesses. However, that doesn't mean you should completely overlook the food sector. Here are…
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Investing in food stocks isn't the easiest way to make money in the market. These are notoriously competitive, low margin companies. With this in mind, food stocks were among the biggest winners during the global pandemic as consumers replenished their pantries and forced to cook more from home.
Unsurprisingly, many food supplies have increased, especially those that have had BOPUS (buy online, in-store pickup) or home delivery options. The consensus among analysts is that food inventories will "normalize" over the next 12 months as inventories weaken at the pandemic level.
However, that doesn't mean you should completely overlook the food sector. It still looks like there is money to be made in this area. And while I could push you Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) or Walmart (NYSE: WMT) Shares, that would be insincere. Chances are, if you want to invest in any of these stocks, you're doing so for other reasons.
With this in mind, here are three more pure aspects of the food sector that play an essential role in the further development of our economy.
Cost Co (COST)
The question on investors' minds seems to be whether Costs (NASDAQ: COST) will continue its exceptional growth rate. At least one analyst suggests the company will run hard year-on-year comparisons to 2020 pandemic-skewed numbers. And they'll point to the stock's price-to-earnings ratio of over 36 (the highest in about 10 years). as a sign that a sell-off is imminent.
That may all be true. But Costco's subscription model and retention rate, which was over 90% last quarter, mean the company should continue to generate strong profits and revenues even if it's not quite at pandemic levels. If history is any clue, Costco is likely to raise the price of its membership fees.
That being said, the stock is trading near the high end of its 52-week stretch, but the stock is consolidating. Still, interested investors may want to wait for a more defined retreat before jumping on board.
To prove that stock picking is an imperfect science, I wrote that in March Kroger (NYSE: KR) was a questionable purchase. Part of the reason for this outlook was that the stock was hovering around five-year highs at a time when the economy was improving and consumers were likely to cut their grocery store spending.
But KR stock has risen since then, and part of that could be because Kroger a Stocks that investors flock to in uncertain times. I think that's true, but also underestimates the underlying story for Kroger.
The grocery chain has made significant investments to increase its omnichannel presence. And that will likely remain a catalyst for the company as the economy moves forward. The company is expected to outperform earnings when it releases its results on June 17th. If so, KR stock could jump forward. However, with stock trading in the middle of its 52 week range, this could be a time to get in.
Sprout Farming Market (SFM)
I'm finally looking Sprout farmers market (NASDAQ: SFM) as a way to play the changing tastes of Americans. Sprouts has a small footprint that includes only a few hundred stores nationwide. What makes the company a fascinating purchase is its focus on "attribute-based" products. This includes an emphasis on ingredients that will aid consumers who are on a paleo, keto, or plant-based diet, as well as consumers who prefer organic foods.
While it's true that other grocery chains are paying more attention to these trends, the success of a company like Whole Foods shows that Americans will flock to the specialty stores. That, combined with the company's likely expansion (it plans to increase the number of stores from 2022) by 10%, makes it a fascinating buy.
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