Updated to include comments from Jim Cramer.
As the trend towards healthier eating sweeps America, WhiteWave Foods is the fastest-growing food company in the United States. The company is best known for its line of nut-based refrigerated beverages, most notably Silk Almond milk. But the company is on trend with several well-positioned, fast-growing categories.
"I think there are two ways to win with WhiteWave, the earnings and a takeover; how can Conagra (CAG) - Get Report NOT take the proceeds for the pending sale of its private label business and buy WhiteWave," said said TheStreet's Jim Cramer, Portfolio Manager of the Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. "It is only a matter of time before it is too big to buy."
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WhiteWave's food and beverage segment consists of three platforms: plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers, and organic dairy. In the recently reported second quarter, total sales for the food and beverage segment rose 8% to $600 million.
Plant-based foods and beverages -- which include Silk, soy milk, cashew milk and dairy-free yogurts -- increased 26%. Refrigerated nut-based beverages increased 12%, ice cream was up 12% and yogurts increased almost 30%. Silk cashew milk was the fastest launch in the company's history.
Coffee creamer sales increased 6% in the second quarter. Increased unit volumes primarily drove sales. Even refrigerated flavored creamers grew 6%.
Coffee creamers make up 42% of sales and are growing at a 10% compounded annual rate. Silk is 30% of sales and growing at a 14% compounded annual rate.
Even Horizon, the company's brand of organic milk, is crushing it. The conventional milk business is a single-digit grower at 2% vs. Horizon Organic growing at 15%. What's more, despite a 1% sales dip in the quarter, the packaged salad business is growing operating income at 11%.
Total sales for the second quarter were $924 million, up 10.2%. Operating profit rose 20%. The consensus is looking for fiscal 2015 sales of $3.8 billion, up 12.4%. Earnings per share are forecast to jump 14.8%.
No food company I know of can post those types of numbers.
During the quarter, WhiteWave announced it has agreed to acquire Wallaby Yogurt Company for $125 million in cash. Wallaby is a maker of Greek and Australian yogurts and Kefir beverages. In the most recent period, Wallaby was growing revenue by 20%.
The company completed the acquisition ofVega Foods. The plant-based nutrition company is growing more than 30%, as its nutritional powdered shakes and snack bars have a loyal following.
Top-line momentum, strong unit volume and the possibility WhiteWave could become a takeover target keeps me riding the stock.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.