PepsiCo, Aimco, Conseco and Canandaigua Brands

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A selection of some of the most intriguing stock newsletter suggestions on the Web. The items presented do not represent the views of TheStreet.com; rather, the collection is offered as a service to our members who may be scanning the Web for stock-related information.

PepsiCo

Richard C. Young

(Aug. 25)

PepsiCo

(PEP) - Get Report

suffered a big blow this week when

Wendy's

(WEN) - Get Report

opted to extend its contract with

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

, but Richard C. Young, editor of

Richard C. Young's Intelligence Report

, likes PepsiCo anyway on the strength of its salty snack business.

Pepsico's

Frito-Lay

unit accounts for nearly 50% of the company's operating income and is the largest single contributor to earnings growth, says Young. Frito-Lay's brands -- which include Doritos, Chee-tos, Ruffles, Fritos and Tostitos -- dominate the U.S. market, and Walkers potato chips are strong in the U.K. There is "virtually no serious competition" in the U.S., he says, and "little serious international competition."

Young also likes PepsiCo's proposed acquisition of

Tropicana

, which has a 40% share of the chilled juice market compared with 19% for Coca-Cola's

Minute Maid

. Consumers prefer Tropicana's not-from-concentrate formula over reconstituted Minute Maid, Young says. He recommended PepsiCo at 34 5/8 with a target gain of at least 40%. It's now trading around 33.

More information can be found at:

www.investools.com

Aimco

Online Investor

(Aug. 27)

Apartment Investment & Management, better known as

Aimco

(AIV) - Get Report

, is the largest apartment manager in the U.S. It owns 251,000 units and manages 146,000 others for third-party owners. Aimco's large size -- it has properties in 49 states -- shields it from regional economic downturns and offers tremendous economies of scale, says

Online Investor

.

Aimco has been outperforming other real estate investment trusts, says

Online Investor

. Its share price is up about 20% in the past year, yet it still yields 5.8%. Aimco's valuation relative to its FFO (funds from operation), the REIT equivalent of earnings, is in line with other REITs, but Aimco is growing faster than its peers, says

Online Investor

.

The company is heavily leveraged, with debt approaching 70% of capitalization. Aimco hopes to minimize that risk through long-term management contracts, which provide a steady source of cash flow to service the debt. "Nonetheless, investors should be aware that this REIT is more aggressive than most these days," says

Online Investor

.

More information can be found at:

fnews.yahoo.com

Conseco

Ron Muhlenkamp

(8/27)

Conseco

(CNC) - Get Report

is a leading provider of supplemental health insurance, retirement annuities, universal life insurance and other financial products and services. After peaking last April at 58, Conseco shares have dipped to 33, a bargain level, says Ron Muhlenkamp, manager of the

Muhlenkamp Fund

.

Muhlenkamp notes that

SunAmerica

(SAI)

, another marketer of annuities, recently announced it would be acquired by

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

for a price equal to 25 times next year's earnings estimates. Conseco trades for about 8 1/2 times Muhlenkamp's 1999 earnings estimates of $3.95, which are lower than the consensus estimate of $4.06. Last week Conseco issued a press release saying it is comfortable with the consensus estimate of $4.06.

Conseco is a tightly focused company "driven by profitability," says Muhlenkamp. It "should trade at least 15 times earnings."

More information can be found at:

www.techstocks.com

Canandaigua Brands

Robert Metz

(8/25)

Canandaigua Brands

(CBRNA)

is a leading producer and importer of alcoholic beverages. Its wine brands include Inglenook, Almaden and Paul Masson, and it markets the leading imported beer in the U.S., Mexico's Corona. In all, Canandiagua sells 130 brands through 850 wholesalers. Its shares have grown steadily from 5 in 1991 to nearly 60 in May before falling back to 42. Stock analyst Robert Metz says Canandaigua is an industry leader available at a reasonable price.

Canandaigua brands include many market leaders, such as Richard's Wild Irish Rose, the No. 1 dessert wine, Cook's Champagne, the No. 2 sparkling table wine, and Alamaden and Inglenook, the Nos. 5 and 7 table wines. The company's smart marketing is credited with boosting Corona over the incumbent, Heineken, in the imported beer market.

Growth has been primarily through acquisitions, but the company also is exploiting fast-growing categories, such as Almaden boxed wine, and varietal wine-based fruit flavors, such as peach-flavored Chardonnay and strawberry-flavored Zinfandel.

Metz cites research from John W. Schott, publisher of

The Schott Letter

, who recommends buying Canandaigua up to 55.

More information can be found at:

www.talks.com

Street Sightings:

Chat with

TSC

Editor-in-Chief

Dave Kansas

at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday night on Yahoo!. Go ahead and register in advance if you haven't already (it's free and just takes a few minutes). The address is

http://chat.yahoo.com

.