With market conditions turning rocky, income investors may
want to look at food stocks, which tend to be better performers
when the environment gets wild. One such issue is the J.M.
Smucker Co. (
The stock has a beta of 0.66, meaning that it has about
one-third less day-to-day price volatility than a market index
such as the S&P 500. J.M. Smucker has pulled back to test
support at its 10-week moving average in mostly tame volume.
It's also close to forming a second-stage flat base with a
105.28 buy point. The stock last broke out from a flat base in
J.M. Smucker is best known for its jellies, jams and
preserves. But the company also owns a variety of brand-name food
products such as Folgers coffee, Crisco cooking oil and Hungry
Jack pancake mixes.
Helped by a string of acquisitions, J.M. Smucker has posted
higher earnings each year since 2002. In 2008, it merged with
Folgers, which was a subsidiary ofProcter & Gamble (
). In 2011, the company bought a number of Hispanic food brands
from privately held Rowland Coffee Roasters.
Last year, it acquired Sara Lee's food service and hot
beverage business. The firm's total sales more than doubled since
J.M. Smucker has a five-year Earnings Stability Factor of 6,
signaling a rock-steady stream of profits.
The company has paid dividends since 1960. It currently pays
52 cents a share each quarter. On an annual basis, it pays $2.08
a share, giving it a yield of about 2%. J.M. Smucker last raised
its cash dividend in July.
Although J.M. Smucker has one of the lowest yields among the
18 dividend-paying stocks in the Food-Packaged group, it has one
of the highest Composite Ratings at 80.