Nestle SA (NSRGY) announced a strategic plan to focus more on high-growth businesses including bottled water, coffee, infant nutrition and pet care days after activist investor Daniel Loeb took a 1.25% stake in the company, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The world's largest packaged food producer made no mention of investing in its core prepared food sector, which includes Lean Cuisine, DiGiorno pizza and European processed meat brand Herta. Analysts think the decision could suggest divestiture over time.
Nestle CEO Mark Schneider earlier this month announced plans to sell the company's confectionery business. It's also selling three of its frozen food brands in Italy.
"Nestle's frozen foods, ice cream and pizza business are areas for possible disposals," Vontobel Research Analyst Jean-Philippe Bertschy said.
Nestle stock closed slightly down Wednesday.
What's Hot On TheStreet
Happy birthday iPhone: Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone turns 10 years old today! What an amazing product Steve Jobs and his team created. But, as TheStreet's Natalie Walters points out, the next five years for Apple could be radically different. Sales could well be boosted by new, non-iPhone products such as smart glasses and autonomous car technologies. Walters also mentions that iPhone demand may peak in 2019.
Blue Apron falters: Blue Apron (APRN - Get Report) plans an initial public offering on Thursday seeking a valuation of about $2 billion. That's down significantly from a $3.2 billion valuation it had previously hoped to achieve. In the public sphere, the New York-based meal kit delivery service's IPO comes at an unsettling time, points out TheStreet's Ron Orol, as the markets begin to digest Amazon Inc.'s (AMZN - Get Report) mega $13.4 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) . Moreover, investors have questioned Blue Apron's business model -- it hasn't turned a profit since 2012 due to rising marketing and distribution costs.
Regulators outsmarted: With questions swirling whether its combination would get approved by regulators, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA - Get Report) and Rite-Aid (RAD - Get Report) struck a clever deal on Thursday. Walgreens will pay $5.175 billion to Rite-Aid in cash and receive 2,186 stores in return. Walgreens will also pay Rite-Aid a $325 million termination fee for its planned buyout of the company.
Walgreens will be an even bigger drug-selling beast, with more than 15,000 stores spanning 11 countries. As for Rite-Aid, it will be left with about 2,300 stores once the deal closes in six months.