The consolidation in the food space is very notable on Monday, with Campbell Soup (CPB) - Get Report paying roughly $4.9 billion for Snyder's-Lance (LNCE) and Hershey (HSY) - Get Report paying $1.6 billion for Amplify .
These are quite notable, as both companies move to add healthy snacks products to their portfolios. Ironically, "both of these companies would have been ideal for General Mills (GIS) - Get Report ," TheStreet's Jim Cramer said on CNBC's "Stop Trading" segment.
The M&A deals announced on Monday took Cramer by surprise, as he was not looking for a "huge amount of M&A" in the sector. Investors may notice that shares of Campbell and Hershey are each trading higher by about 1% on the day, even though they're the ones doing the buying.
That's because investors are excited to see these companies diversifying their businesses and focusing on new growth avenues.
That should be a lesson for General Mills management -- which has a new CEO in Jeff Harmening -- that "they need to do a deal," explained Cramer, who also manages the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio. Companies with slow to no growth pantry businesses are getting higher valuations for stepping into the better-for-you snack categories.
- Hershey Buys Healthy-Snacks Maker as Food Deals Emerge
- Hershey CEO: Buying Amplify Takes Us Closer to Being Snacking Powerhouse
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"They have got to move faster," Cramer said of General Mills management. The stock now yields 3.4% and analysts at Wells Fargo think it's a buy, upgrading the stock to outperform.
General Mills reports earnings on December 20th before the open. "I am not looking for an upside surprise," he said, adding that "the stock's had quite a run." Shares are up 2% Monday and Cramer said he would consider trimming a long position if the stock continues to move higher.
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