J&J Snack Foods (JJSF) Acquires Labriola Baking in Illinois

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J&J Snack Foods Corp.JJSF recently took over a premium bakery, Labriola Baking Company. However, the financial terms of the transaction have been kept under wraps.

Based in the Chicago suburb of Alsip, Illinois, Labriola Baking is a national provider of prebaked breads, rolls and soft pretzels for retail in-store bakery and foodservice outlets.

U.S.-based J&J makes nutritional snack foods and serves the food service and retail supermarket industries in the country. Its brand names include SUPERPRETZEL, BAVARIAN BAKERY, LUIGI'S & WHOLE FRUIT.

In Dec 2016, J&J acquired a premium bakery in Illinois, Hill & Valley Inc. Founded in 1987 as Rock Island Baking Co. and later named as Hill & Valley, this company produces a wide variety of pre-baked cakes, cookies, pies, muffins and other desserts for retail in-store bakeries.

Hill & Valley is a leading brand of sugar-free and no-sugar added pre-baked in-store bakery items. The bakery is also part of numerous strategic private labeling partnerships with retailers in the U.S.

Much like other food companies, J&J too has been shifting focus to make healthier and nutritious products in view of increasing health consciousness, rising obesity concerns and growing regulatory pressure. Hence, these latest additions seem to be a strategic fit in this regard. In words of Jerry Law, J&J's Senior Vice President, "The Labriola Baking Company was built upon high quality, authentic products."

Price Performance and Zacks Rank

J&J's shares have lost 2.2% in the last six months compared with a decline of 4.3% of the industry it belongs to.

The company missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 by 12.42%. In the last one month, none of the analysts have increased their earnings estimates for the current quarter, while two analysts have revised their estimate downward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has declined from $4.37 per share to $4.16. It's no surprise that the stock has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

That said, these latest healthy additions should help drive growth.

Key Picks from the Industry

A few better-ranked stocks in the same space are Post Holdings, Inc. POST , Ingredion Incorporated INGR and McCormick & Company, Incorporated MKC .

Post Holdings' current quarter earnings are expected to increase 48.6%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Full-year earnings of Ingredion, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, are likely to increase 7.6%.

McCormick's, also a Zacks Rank #2 company, full-year earnings are expected to rise more than 8%.

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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.

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

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