5 Food Stocks to Whet Investor Appetite
5. Dole Food (DOLE) is a producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables and a leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a line of packaged and frozen fruits, and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
The company announced its first-quarter results on May 2, 2011, reporting improved results in all the three segments with 25% increase in its EBITDA to $106 million from $85 million in the prior year quarter. The company's fresh fruits segment benefited with 55% higher sales, due to improved market conditions in Europe and Asia, and better pricing in European operations due to their restructuring plan.
For the first quarter, net revenue increased 5% to $1.17 billion from $1.12 billion in the year-ago period. Comparable income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2011 was $45 million, or 51 cents per share, compared to $15 million, or 17 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2010.The company recently launched a product, FRUIT BOWLS, for its health-conscious customers, which received overwhelming market response. The company expects to improve results in 2011 over 2010. Of the nine analysts covering the stock, 67% recommend a hold while the rest rate a buy on it. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg project 12.3% upside to $15.8 in value from current levels.
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