4 Publicly Traded Religious Companies if You’re Looking to Invest in Faith

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By James Dennin for Kapitall Wire

Many stocks have religious CEOs. But these 4 publicly traded religious companies take it to another level.

While many companies are run by religious CEOs, some companies wear it on their sleeve more than others. Not all of them are as adamant about it as Chik-fil-A, who caused a firestorm of controversy when their COO said that marriage should be between a man and a woman. A lot of companies which you've almost certainly patronized incorporate religion into their corporate culture.

For one, there's Tyson Foods (TSN), which keeps 1,290 office chaplains on staff. The founder of the company says he strives to be a "faith-friendly company" although they do not attempt hide liturgical wisdom in your drumsticks.

A pair of airlines, Alaska Air Group (ALK) and JetBlue (JBLU) are run or were run by pious chiefs. Alaska Air garnered some criticism for providing notecards with verses from the Old Testament with their meals. So far they've shown no intention of ending the practice, which has been in place for years. JetBlue doesn't engage in any religious activity, but it was founded by David Neeleman, a devout Mormon who said his missionary work inspired the company's focus on customer service.

A lot's been written about the preponderance of Mormon executives in Fortune 500 companies, which is the case with the final stock on our list, Marriott International (MAR). Their founder, John Willard Marriott, was active in the church, and they still include the Book of Mormon in many of their hotel rooms. What they don't include is pay-per-view porn.

Which raises the question. By being overtly religious in their corporate culture, or including religious elements in their products, are these companies galvanizing a more devoted customer base, or leaving non-religious customers (read: potential revenue) on the table? To use one example: pornography accounts for as much as 80% of the programming revenue among business hotels.

Our index of 4 publicly traded religious companies is listed below.

Click on the chart to view data over time.

Does religious affiliation affect your investing decisions? Use the list below to begin your own analysis.

1. Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Engages in the production, distribution, and marketing of chicken, beef, pork, and prepared food products. Market cap at $12.23B, most recent closing price at $35.59.

2. Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Operates as an airline company serving destinations in the western United States, Canada, and Mexico. Market cap at $5.3B, most recent closing price at $75.10.

3. Marriott International, Inc. (MAR, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Operates and franchises hotels and related lodging facilities worldwide. Market cap at $14.61B, most recent closing price at $47.89.

4. JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Provides passenger air transportation services in the United States. Market cap at $2.48B, most recent closing price at $8.61.

(List compiled by James Dennin. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research, all other data sourced from Finviz. List of "religious companies" was sourced from Business Insider's list, "18 Extremely Religious Companies. You can read the original here.)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Business , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: TSN , ALK , MAR , JBLU

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