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Kimberly-Clark(KMB) is another personal care consumer product company that fits my criteria. Kimberly-Clark focuses on tissues, toilet paper diapers, incontinence and other paper goods products. In most of its product categories, the company ranks first or second in market share.
Adjusted earnings rose 3% in 2011 and are expected to rise 4 to 7% in 2012. As a result, the company's board has approved a 5.7% increase in its quarterly dividend.
Hershey(HSY) is one of the leading confectionery companies in the world. It is best-known for its chocolates, with brands including Hershey's, Reese's, Kit Kat, Mr. Goodbar and Almond Joy, The company also produces Twizzlers, Ice Breakers and Breath Savers.
Earnings grew by 11% in 2011despite political instability in the Ivory Coast that resulted in a global shortage of cocoa and a spike in cocoa prices. Since spiking in April of last year, cocoa price have declined by 35% to 40% and are stabilizing around current levels, and I suspect that older and higher-priced commodity input costs will no longer be impacting margins in 2012 and could result in better-than-expected results.
I would also not rule out a mid-year dividend increase of 8% to 10%. Hershey is also due for another stock buyback authorization.
Hershey is one of
Renaissance Technologies' top stocks as of the most recently reported period, and it also shows up in
Navellier & Associates' portfolio.
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