To most folks, bread is just something to put peanut butter
and jelly on. But forFlower Foods (
), bread is big business.
The Thomasville, Ga.-based company has a long track record of
growth, thanks to a large number of acquisitions.
Flower Foods is the nation's second-biggest producer and
marketer of packaged baked goods. The firm's vast portfolio of
bread brands include Nature's Own, Cobblestone Mill, Sunbeam,
Roman Meal and Country Kitchen. Flower Foods also makes snack
cakes, pastries and tortillas.
Since going public back in 1968, it has made more than 100
buyouts. The company scooped up Tasty Baking in 2011 and Lepage
Bakeries in 2012. More recently, it completed its buyout of
assets from Sara Lee and Earthgrains in February. And the company
is in the process of buying a number of bread brands from
Since 2003, Flower Foods has delivered higher earnings in all
years except for 2011. It has a three-year earnings stability
factor of 5, signaling a highly steady stream of profits.
Earnings have nearly doubled since 2006.
Flower Foods pays a dividend of 16 cents a share quarterly or
64 cents on an annual basis. It last raised the payout in June.
Flower Foods has a yield of about 2%, which is the lowest among
the five dividend-paying stocks in the Food-Grain & Related
group. But Flower Foods has the highest Composite Rating among
While the S&P 500 is up nearly 12% for the year, Flower
Foods has more than tripled that. It has been on a tear since
breaking out from a cup-with-handle base in early January.
The stock is close to forming a second-stage flat base. If
completed, the buy point is 33.26, 10 cents above the April 2