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Shelf-Stable Food Q1 Earnings: Hershey (NYSE:HSY) is the Best in the Biz


Max Juang /
2024/06/18 6:11 am EDT

The end of an earnings season can be a great time to discover new stocks and assess how companies are handling the current business environment. Let’s take a look at how Hershey (NYSE:HSY) and the rest of the shelf-stable food stocks fared in Q1.

As America industrialized and moved away from an agricultural economy, people faced more demands on their time. Packaged foods emerged as a solution offering convenience to the evolving American family, whether it be canned goods or snacks. Today, Americans seek brands that are high in quality, reliable, and reasonably priced. Furthermore, there's a growing emphasis on health-conscious and sustainable food options. Packaged food stocks are considered resilient investments. People always need to eat, so these companies can enjoy consistent demand as long as they stay on top of changing consumer preferences. The industry spans from multinational corporations to smaller specialized firms and is subject to food safety and labeling regulations.

The 21 shelf-stable food stocks we track reported a decent Q1; on average, revenues beat analyst consensus estimates by 0.5%. while next quarter's revenue guidance was 1.6% below consensus. Valuation multiples for many growth stocks have not yet reverted to their early 2021 highs, but the market was optimistic at the end of 2023 due to cooling inflation. The start of 2024 has been a different story as mixed signals have led to market volatility, and while some of the shelf-stable food stocks have fared somewhat better than others, they collectively declined, with share prices falling 2.8% on average since the previous earnings results.

Best Q1: Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

Best known for its milk chocolate bar and Hershey's Kisses, Hershey (NYSE:HSY) is an iconic company known for its chocolate products.

Hershey reported revenues of $3.25 billion, up 8.9% year on year, topping analysts' expectations by 4.5%. It was a stunning quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' revenue and gross margin estimates.

"We are off to a strong start and remain on track to deliver our business strategies and financial commitments for the year," said Michele Buck, The Hershey Company President and Chief Executive Officer.

Hershey Total Revenue

The stock is down 4.5% since the results and currently trades at $187.1.

Is now the time to buy Hershey? Access our full analysis of the earnings results here, it's free.

BellRing Brands (NYSE:BRBR)

Spun out of Post Holdings in 2019, Bellring Brands (NYSE:BRBR) offers protein shakes, nutrition bars, and other products under the PowerBar, Premier Protein, and Dymatize brands.

BellRing Brands reported revenues of $494.6 million, up 28.3% year on year, outperforming analysts' expectations by 5.9%. It was an exceptional quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' organic revenue growth and earnings estimates.

BellRing Brands Total Revenue

BellRing Brands delivered the fastest revenue growth among its peers. The stock is down 3.8% since the results and currently trades at $55.

Is now the time to buy BellRing Brands? Access our full analysis of the earnings results here, it's free.

Weakest Q1: Lamb Weston (NYSE:LW)

Best known for its Grown in Idaho brand, Lamb Weston (NYSE:LW) produces and distributes potato products such as frozen french fries and mashed potatoes.

Lamb Weston reported revenues of $1.46 billion, up 16.3% year on year, falling short of analysts' expectations by 11.8%. It was a weak quarter for the company, with full-year revenue guidance missing analysts' expectations.

Lamb Weston had the weakest performance against analyst estimates and weakest full-year guidance update in the group. The stock is down 14.5% since the results and currently trades at $86.41.

Read our full analysis of Lamb Weston's results here.

Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ:LANC)

Known for its frozen garlic bread and Parkerhouse rolls, Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ:LANC) sells bread, dressing, and dips to the retail and food service channels.

Lancaster Colony reported revenues of $471.4 million, up 1.4% year on year, in line with analysts' expectations. It was a weak quarter for the company, with a miss of analysts' operating margin and earnings estimates.

The stock is down 2.4% since the results and currently trades at $186.56.

Read our full, actionable report on Lancaster Colony here, it's free.

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB)

With its iconic canned soup as its cornerstone product, Campbell Soup (NASDAQ:CPB) is a packaged food company with an illustrious portfolio of brands.

Campbell Soup reported revenues of $2.37 billion, up 6.3% year on year, in line with analysts' expectations. It was a mixed quarter for the company, with an impressive beat of analysts' organic revenue growth estimates but a miss of analysts' operating margin estimates.

The stock is up 1.6% since the results and currently trades at $44.91.

Read our full, actionable report on Campbell Soup here, it's free.

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