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5 Food Stocks to Whet Investor Appetite

2. Corn Products International (CPO), provides ingredient solutions to the food, beverage, brewing and pharmaceutical industries, as well as several other industries worldwide. The company produces ingredients that provide valuable solutions to customers in nearly 50 countries. It derives its products primarily from processing corn and other starch-rich materials such as tapioca.

For first quarter 2011, Corn Products reported 56% increase in net sales to $1.46 billion. Net income rose 127% to $176 million, or $1.28 per share, from $75 million in the year-ago quarter, attributable to the acquisition of National Starch food division in the previous year. While gross profit jumped 109% during the quarter, operating income soared 217% from the year-ago quarter.

For full year 2011, the company expects net sales to surpass the $6 million mark. It also expects capital spending to range between $280 and $300 million. As part of its strategy to gain traction in emerging economies, Corn Products plans to invest in Brazil and Argentina.

Of the nine analysts covering the stock, 56% recommended a buy while the remaining suggest a hold. The stock has no sell ratings. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain 19.2% to $63.87 in value from current levels.

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