SeekingAlpha  Apr 11  Comment 
By David Trainer: The Consumer Staples sector ranks first out of the ten sectors as detailed in my Sector Rankings for ETFs and Mutual Funds report. It gets my Neutral rating, which is based on aggregation of ratings of 10 ETFs and 9 mutual funds...
SeekingAlpha  Apr 9  Comment 
I have owned stock in General Mills (GIS) for a while now, as part of my dividend growth portfolio. So far, I have been reasonably happy with the investment, but I like to take a look at the outlook for each of my holdings every 6 months. My most...
DailyFinance  Apr 9  Comment 
MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- (Marketwired) -- 04/09/14 -- Skyya Communications, a high-touch boutique strategic communications agency with a fresh and innovative approach to serving the public relations and marketing needs of businesses ranging from...  Apr 8  Comment 
LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Consumer products group PZ Cussons Plc (PZC.L), in its interim management statement, said the overall Group performance has been in line with management expectations for the period from January 22, 2014 to April 9,2014. The...
Wall Street Journal  Apr 4  Comment 
Makers of consumer staples like cereal, soda and soap are resorting to aggressive discounting to overcome a persistent problem: Their industry is barely growing.
Forbes  Apr 1  Comment 
There is no substitute for defining a product strategy that is executed flawlessly and repetitively, internally and with channel partners. For consumer products companies, improving profitability is as much about processes as it is about products.
The Economic Times  Apr 1  Comment 
Having over 30 years of experience in publishing, consulting and consumer products, Wan was previously president of the Penguin Group and the global trade consumer book publishing division of Pearson.
Benzinga  Mar 31  Comment 
The strength in the Consumers strength ETF since the beginning of February may be a sign of things to come, while the strength in this sector is not always a guarantee of a weakening market, one cannot ignore the recent rise.   Generally...
Forbes  Mar 28  Comment 
If I had to guess, I'd say I probably have earbuds jammed in my ears a good 30 percent of waking hours. Walking the streets, sitting on the subway, grinding through the gym, working through work: These are all music and podcast-mandatory...
Forbes  Mar 27  Comment 
There’s rarely a day that goes by without some high flying tech company announcing it has closed a huge Series C or D round in a Tech Blog. In fact, the tech companies that are currently valued at one billion dollars (or more) have taken an...


The Toy business leads this category, and by a wide margin. The 3 largest U.S. toymakers, Hasbro (HAS), Mattel (MAT), and JAKKS Pacific (JAKK), were all on the screen for significant periods of time. I think this is another illustration of how the Magic Formula does a lot of the work of digging up beaten down sectors for us. The first quarter is generally a weak one for toymakers, as most of their profits come in the Christmas season (as much as 60%).

The original thought was to separate between Consumer Staples (items that we must buy regardless of our financial condition) and Consumer Discretionary (luxury goods). However, many of the industries above would be ambiguous. For example, we need shoes (making them a staple), but in tight times we may decide to buy a store brand instead of more expensive Nike (NKE), adding a measure of discretion to the purchase. Consumer goods companies can make great long term investments - just ask Warren Buffett, whose investments in Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch Companies (BUD), and Procter & Gamble Company (PG) are legendary.

Forces affecting the Retail Industry

Brand is unquestionably the strongest form of competitive advantage in Consumer Goods. However, it's important to also judge the durability of the brand. For example, Coke is a brand known around the world, and has endured over 100 years of competition to still enjoy the top spot in the soda category today. That's a durable brand. Compare this to Gap (GPS).Ten years ago, Gap and it's spin off stores Old Navy and Banana Republic were considered fashionable and chic for the all important teen and college set. Today, the store is avoided by those same groups, lest their fashion sense be ridiculed by friends. That's a fickle brand. It's important to be able to separate a fad from a juggernaut. Add this to the PR problems Mattel faced last year with lead paint, and you have an unwanted sector, with some interesting potential investments.

Distribution is also important in the Consumer Goods sector. A company with a wider distribution network can leverage economies of scale to earn more on their fixed costs. An especially attractive arrangement is when one of these companies has an exclusive deal with a large distributor. Take Anheuser-Busch (BUD), for example. While this firm has an incredibly strong brand, they also require exclusivity from distributors. This allows them to lock out competitors like Molson Coors (TAP) and Miller, protecting profit margins. The soda companies also do this well. Have you noticed that McDonald's (MCD) only sells Coke products, while Pizza Hut (Yum! Brands (YUM)) only sells Pepsi? With these exclusive deals, competitors are blocked from those roads of distribution, protecting profits for the established companies.

Companies in the Consumer Products Industry (346)

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