H. J. Heinz Company
), maker of major brands like Heinz Ketchup and Master soya
sauces, recently reached a 52-week high of $61.12 on Feb 01,
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Heinz Company has been gaining momentum, prior to the release of
its third quarter 2013 results on Feb 27. The ketchup and sauce
company has outpaced earnings estimates for four straight
In the run up to the release, we witness rising earnings
estimates, reflecting the positive guidance provided by the
company during the second quarter of 2013.
Heinz expects earnings in the range of $3.52-$3.62 per share in
fiscal 2013. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently pegged at
$3.53. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for third quarter fiscal 2013
is 89 cents per share.
The company expects organic sales to grow during the second half
of fiscal 2013 on the back of increased innovations. The company
plans to increase its investments in marketing initiatives,
emerging markets and the SAP program. Gross margins are also
expected to grow in the second half.
Heinz's long-term fundamentals are also encouraging, given the
company's robust brand portfolio, continued strong growth in
emerging markets, strong marketing investments and ongoing cost
The company has a significant presence outside the U.S. The
company has delivered positive growth in Europe despite the
challenging conditions. Most importantly, Heinz is generating
solid growth in the emerging markets of India, China and
The company has made several acquisitions in the past, which
include the Brazilian company Coniexpress, acquired in Apr 2011
and Chinese soya sauce maker Foodstar Holding, added in Nov 2010.
The company is also involved in divestures of some of its less
profitable business, so that the company can focus on its
profitable brands and products, which in turn can boost long-term
H. J. Heinz Company carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Other stocks worth a look in the industry are
Flowers Foods, Inc.
J&J Snack Foods Corp.
), each holding a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).