Consumer staples had a terrible first half. But now, it's time to go shopping for some deals.
Kellogg (K - Get Report) wasn't immune to the selling, but it held its own fairly well, and actually broke out to a new year-to-date high last week. That tells me that if money starts rotating into consumer staples stocks in the second half, Kellogg is likely to be one of the leaders.
The stock meets my other criteria too. It's big, with a market cap of $25 billion, has a strong dividend yield of 3.0%, and has increased its dividend every year since 2005. Earnings are expected to rise 10% this year and 6% next year (revenues are expected to rise by 4% and 2%).
The stock isn't volatile, with a five-year beta of 0.6, and trades at a trailing price-to-earnings multiple of 17 times and a forward price-to-earnings multiple of 15 times. Investors looking for a healthy but undervalued dividend stock to bet on a second-half consumer staples rebound will find a lot to like in Kellogg.
In a related area of the consumer staples space we find Kroger (KR - Get Report) , which owns 2,782 grocery stores in 35 states. Brands include Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith's, Fry's, Harris Teeter and Pick 'n Save.
Just over one year ago, Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) acquired Whole Foods, and the stock of every other grocery store chain in the U.S. dropped like a rock. The selloff has so far proved overdone, and Kroger and peers have gradually recovered over the past 12 months.
However, there's still a lot of skepticism about the industry's ability to adapt to the Amazon age, and Kroger still trades at a rock-bottom trailing price-to-earnings multiple of 7 times, and a forward price-to-earnings multiple of 13 times.
But the future looks bright. Earnings are expected to grow 4% this year and 7% next year, and estimates have been moving up. In addition, the company has increased its dividend every year for nine years, has a payout ratio of 26%, and the stock yields 1.9% at current prices.
My final undervalued consumer staples idea also comes from the world of food. Tyson Foods (TSN - Get Report) produces about 20% of the beef, pork and chicken consumed in the U.S. In 2017, the company sold about 35 million chickens per week.
But about 12% of sales are to international markets, and China is the largest single buyer, so Tyson has been caught in the middle of Trump's tariff war. That contributed to 15% loss for the stock in the first half, as did the pressure on large cap, dividend-paying consumer staples stocks.
But as with Kroger, the future looks brighter. Analysts expect revenues to rise by 7% this year and 2% next year, driving earnings growth of 23% and 4%. The stock now trades at a price-to-earnings multiple of under 10 times and a forward price-to-earnings multiple of less than 9 times.
And Tyson has increased its dividend every year for six years, but has a payout ratio of only 18%. And while the trade war has entered a new phase, on Wall Street, reality often puts less of a damper on returns than fear.