The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.By Hilary Kramer, InvestorPlace.com NEW YORK ( InvestorPlace) -- Graham Packaging ( GRM), which develops plastic containers for consumer products, launched an IPO early last year. But investors were not impressed with GRM stock. Graham Packaging priced the deal at $10 a share, which was well below the $14-$16 price range. And then newly minted GRM stock treaded water. Well, things certainly perked up this year for Graham Packaging. In April, Graham received a buyout offer from Silgan ( SLGN). Then in the past few weeks, New Zealand's Rank Group joined the fray, making its own bid for GRM stock. The shares of Graham stock are now trading at $25.89. Yes, you don't have to play highfliers like LinkedIn ( LNKD) to make money on IPOs.
Crown ( CCK): The company is the dominant manufacturer of metal packaging, such as for aerosol and beverage cans. It is a global operation with an extensive footprint in Europe as well as the emerging markets. The customer base includes some of the world's largest consumer companies, such as PepsiCo ( PEP) and Coca-Cola ( KO). Of course, they will be consistent sources of revenues for the long haul. Moreover, with its large footprint in emerging markets, Crown is actually a growth story. This should provide a nice boost to the company's earnings power. Crown has also been savvy by using long-term supplier contracts. This has helped to provide lower costs for raw materials like aluminum.
Related Article: Why Bank of America Is Your Best Buy Now Graphic Packaging ( GPK): This is a top provider of paperboard packaging for food and beverage products. The company has leading positions in coated-recycled boxboard and specialty bag packaging. In the latest quarter, Graphic Packaging posted a 0.3% decline in sales. But the company was able to increase its pricing to deal with the lower volumes. What's more, income from operations increased by 15.1% to $68.6 million. There has been a drag on operations because of the negative weather. But this should be a temporary thing, and volumes should improve in the coming quarters. Related Article: Is Apple Just Another Corporate Overlord? Greif ( GEF): The company develops a wide assortment of packaging products like steel containers and containerboard. There are also services for blending and filling. Based on the latest quarterly results, Greif has returned to its peak levels for revenue and EBITDA. Then again, the company has a proprietary management approach -- called the Greif Business System -- which has been helpful in generating cost savings and efficiencies.The company has also been aggressive with acquisitions. For example, it struck 12 deals last year. Yet in light of Greif's strong platform and growth prospects, it would not be surprising if it became a target for a buyout. At the time of writing, Hilary Kramer did not have any positions in stocks mentioned.