The coronavirus menace is not only wreaking havoc on communities but is affecting all business sectors, as social distancing remains the only way to contain it. The closing of businesses and stores across continents has done unprecedented damage to the global economy, sending jitters across all markets.
However, the demand for staples or essential goods seems to be soaring thanks to consumers’ panic-buying trends. Essentials like grocery, medicines, hand sanitizers, toilet paper, surface cleaners, disinfecting wipes, and packaged bottles have seen an unusual rise in demand over the past month.
This makes the role of consumer staples companies important. The companies are relentlessly working to increase the production of essential commodities to meet rising demand. Additionally, Pernod Richard PDRDY and Diageo DEO have also offered their distillers to produce alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
The consumer staples sector includes companies providing necessary and daily-use products. This makes the industry a defensive play, while the global markets continue to spiral down. This space has always been a go-to place for investors, who want to play it safe during extreme market fluctuations.
Despite the rout in global markets, some consumer staples stocks, with a favorable Zacks Rank, have witnessed upward estimate revisions for current-year earnings per share (EPS) in the past 30 days. At this critical stage, we suggest you invest in consumer staples stocks that have solid growth prospects and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy).
The chart below shows the price performance of our five picks in the year-to-date period.
The Clorox Company CLX primarily sells bleach and cleaning products across the United States and international markets. This Zacks Rank #1 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 1.6% for the current financial year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year earnings has improved 2.4% in the past seven days. It has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 5.2%.
Campbell Soup Co. CPB manufactures and markets high-quality branded convenience food and beverages. It operates through Meals & Beverages and Snacks segments. The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 17.4% for the current financial year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year earnings has improved 6.7% in the past 30 days. This Zacks Rank #2 company has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 6.1%.
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. HAIN produces and sells various natural and organic food as well as personal care products, with operations in North America and Europe. The Zacks Rank #2 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 7.6% for the current financial year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has moved up 1.4% in the past 30 days.
Ingredion Incorporated INGR produces and sells starches and sweeteners for various industries. This Zacks Rank #2 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 6% for the current financial year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 0.7% in the past 30 days.
Grocery Outlet Holding Corp. GO operates a chain of grocery stores in the United States. It offers products in various categories, such as grocery, dairy, refrigerated and frozen, floral, beer and wine, general merchandise, health and beauty, fresh meat and seafood, and organic. The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 8.9% for the current financial year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has improved 3.6% in the past seven days. This Zacks Rank #1 company has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 11.3%.
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