Entries filed under 'Consumer Staples'

    Research in Action:
    Riding Herd on Changing Consumer Patterns

    March 23, 2015 11:18 AM by Lord Abbett Editorial Staff

    While big corporations are struggling to retain customers, nimbler enterprises are seizing the opportunity to steal loyal consumers. Three Lord Abbett analysts assess the opportunities.

    One overarching theme in recent research discussions has been consumer spending, which has been on a healthy trajectory since the financial crisis, especially in recent quarters thanks to rising employment and declining fuel prices. (See Chart 1.) But with many consumers underemployed, cautious and/or continuing to deleverage, the outlook is a mixed bag. Rising employment and lower fuel costs may help beverage makers and innovative restaurant chains, but auto companies face considerable headwinds. 

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    Why Consumer Staples Hinge on Millennials

    October 28, 2014 12:30 PM by Lord Abbett Editorial Staff

    Failure to adapt to profound changes in the marketplace has put some well-entrenched companies on the defensive.

    After 30 years of covering the consumer staples sector, Lord Abbett Research Analyst John McMillin has seen a lot of change. But nothing compares to how much millennials (the generation born after 1980; see Chart 1) are transforming the companies he follows—and with good reason. As a group millennials are larger than the baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. Soon millennials will comprise half of the workforce. And some experts expect them to account for one third of all retail spending in five years.1

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    Puff, the Magic Dividend

    October 24, 2014 11:38 AM by Lord Abbett Editorial Staff

    Tobacco companies may be blowing smoke at consumers, but investors are still getting attractive dividends, thanks in part to strong international sales.

    Say what you want about tobacco companies. The Surgeon General of the United States and countless state attorneys general certainly have over the last several decades, not to mention the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which now regulates the sector. But despite all the governmental scrutiny, courtroom drama, and court settlements (the biggest being a 1998 agreement by the four largest U.S. tobacco companies to pay 46 states a minimum of $206 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement), tobacco companies still have managed to pay healthy dividends, so try not to cough. Some socially responsible investors and funds won't go near them, even though dividend yields of leading tobacco companies, as of October 9, 2014, ranged between 2.82% and 5.14%, and their five-year dividend growth rates ranged between 8.56% and 26%, according to Bloomberg.

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    Do Healthier Lifestyles Make for Healthy Stocks?

    October 21, 2014 4:00 PM by Lord Abbett Editorial Staff

    Not always, but the trend certainly has more legs, which is to say that organic foods should outperform beef jerky.

    Walk down any supermarket or specialty grocery store aisle and a number of trends will hit you. Consumers are more conscious than ever about what they are putting into their bodies, and they are demanding and getting healthier foods, drinks, and even nicotine-delivery systems (as an alternative to conventional cigarettes and cigars). They are clamoring for fresh, organic vegetables, free-range chickens with no antibiotics, grass-fed beef, natural juices, packaged goods with less salt and more flavor, zero-calorie sodas, gluten-free pasta, low-carb snacks, and BPA-free baby bottles, to name a few. And unlike their parents, who were content to drink old-line lager beers, they have a plethora of choices, such as summer and Oktoberfest brews, regional craft beers in a variety of flavors and colors, and extra-hoppy pale ales.

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