Cramer: Four Healthy Eating Stocks in Turbulent Times

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TheStreet's Jim Cramer says in times of turbulence to fall back on companies that keep people healthy. One such stock is WhiteWave Foods  (WWAV) because of its plant-based foods.

Cramer recently spoke to Sprouts Farmers Markets  (SFM) and says this is the company in the segment right now that is performing the best. The company is a smaller box retailer of almost all natural and organic foods, has 13% comparable-store sales growth and could have solid momentum.

For a more traditional choice, Cramer suggests Whole Foods Market  (WFM) and, if one does not mind volatility, Chipotle Mexican Grill  (CMG). The latter has moved up too much for Cramer's taste at the moment, but the company is in a special place where it is committed to natural and organic and the younger eaters are, as well.

Must Watch:  Jim Cramer Says Embrace Healthy Eating to Boost Investment Returns

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WHITEWAVE FOODS CO as a "hold" with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: 

"We rate WHITEWAVE FOODS CO (WWAV) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and generally higher debt management risk."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • WWAV's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, WWAV's share price has jumped by 67.97%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Food Products industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 34.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $29.71 million to $19.54 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $69.62 million or 20.91% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WWAV Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: 

"We rate WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC (WFM) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • WFM's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.01 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.17, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC has improved earnings per share by 7.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.47 versus $1.26 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.62 versus $1.47).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Food & Staples Retailing industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 8.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $146.00 million to $158.00 million.
  • 37.65% is the gross profit margin for WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 3.72% is above that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WFM Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: 

"We rate CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC (CMG) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 29.74% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 89.68% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC has improved earnings per share by 29.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC increased its bottom line by earning $10.46 versus $8.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($13.00 versus $10.46).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry average. The net income increased by 29.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $61.35 million to $79.62 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $140.07 million or 11.13% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -33.04%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CMG Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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