More evidence that Canada�� economy is gaining traction came from the country�� latest wholesale trade data. According to Statistics Canada (StatCan), June wholesale trade climbed 0.6 percent month over month, to CAD53.0 billion, beating the consensus forecast among economists by a significant two-tenths of a percentage point.
Wholesale trade is considered an economic bellwether, so it�� an area that we��e been monitoring closely for clues about the trend of the overall economy. June was the third consecutive month in which wholesale trade increased, which augurs well for second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
StatCan observes that five of the seven subsectors it tracks posted gains in June. That was enough to offset the performance of the motor vehicle and parts space, which declined 2.4 percent month over month, though sales were still up 9.8 percent from a year ago.
Top 10 Freight Stocks To Watch For 2016: Abercrombie & Fitch Company(ANF)
Abercrombie & Fitch Co., through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer of casual apparel for men, women, and kids. The company sells casual sportswear apparel, including knit and woven shirts, graphic t-shirts, fleece, jeans and woven pants, shorts, sweaters, and outerwear; personal care products; and accessories under the Abercrombie & Fitch, abercrombie kids, and Hollister brands. It also offers bras, underwear, sleepwear, and at-home products for girls under the Gilly Hicks brand. The company sells products through its stores; direct-to-consumer operations; and Websites, which comprise abercrombie.com, abercrombiekids.com, hollisterco.com, and gillyhicks.com. As of October 29, 2011, it operated a total of 1,092 stores, including 316 Abercrombie & Fitch stores, 179 abercrombie kids stores, 501 Hollister Co. stores, and 18 Gilly Hicks stores in the United States; and 10 Abercrombie & Fitch stores, 4 abercrombie kids stores, 63 Hollister Co. stores, and 1 Gill y Hicks store internationally. The company was founded in 1892 and is headquartered in New Albany, Ohio.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Vanina Egea] >Ann Inc. (ANN), and international brands such as Inditex may erode the company麓s margin. Its increase in input costs, inventory per store levels, and negative international comps are also key factors to analyze.
Nevertheless, GAP麓s shares have doubled their value in the last two years and Wall Street analysts project a 17% price rise over the next. So, let麓s see how this giant overcomes headwinds and makes its way forward.
Local Pruning, Improved Merchandise and Turnaround Marketing Strategies
During third quarter fiscal 2013, the company achieved high top-line growth and increased its margins. This better-than-expected outcome results from GAP's healthy expenses management and becomes more outstanding given the soft economic environment.
At a domestic level, the company has driven a turnaround marketing strategy that has improved its comps. This major move involved closing weak performing stores in the U.S., reducing its number to 950. In addition, GAP's endeavors to improve inventory store levels through the implementation of an upgraded inventory system that allows stores to fill online orders for merchandise, has resulted in more cost efficiency. It also developed a Reserve in Store feature that gives shoppers the opportunity to set aside products in stores without paying. Altogether, these strategies improved the company麓s comparable store sales, which showed year-over-year growth in almost every month from January to November 2013.
The company麓s efforts to recapture its core consumer and attract new ones focused also on merchandise improvement. The creation of the global creative center that gathers top talents from the apparel industry resulted in hits like the ��e Bright��campaign, focused on colored denims and bottoms, which boosted GAP sales in 2012.� The creation of a global platform behind each brand also helps to build a consistent message that translates into a stronger brand image.
In regards to int
Top 10 Sliver Companies To Own For 2015: Autoliv Inc (ALV)
Autoliv, Inc. (Autoliv) is a holding company. Autoliv is the supplier of automotive safety systems, with a range of product offerings, including modules and components for passenger and driver-side airbags, side-impact airbag protection systems, seatbelts, steering wheels, safety electronics, whiplash protection systems and child seats, as well as night vision systems, radar and other active safety systems. Autoliv has two main operating segments: airbags/seatbelt (including restraint electronics) products and active safety electronics products. In March 2010, the Company acquired Visteon Corporation's radar system business. In April 2010, the Company acquired Delphi's Occupant Protection Systems (OPS) operations in Korea and China. In addition, in April 2010, Autoliv Inc.'s Automotive Holding AS increased its stake in Norma AS from 51% to 93.74%. Additionally, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB and ING Luxembourg SA sold their 6.67% and 10% stake, respectively, held in Norma AS. In October 2010, the Company acquired 51% interest in Bejing Delpi Automotive Safety Products. In November 2011, the Company acquired the airbag cushion cut&sew assets from Milliken. In June 2012, the Company sold its subsidiary Autoliv Mekan AB to Verktygs Allians i Hassleholm AB.
Autoliv has approximately 80 wholly or partially owned or leased production facilities located in 28 countries, consisting of both component factories and assembly factories. The Company�� component factories manufacture inflators, initiators, textile cushions, webbing materials, electronics, pressed steel parts, springs and overmoulded steel parts used in seatbelt and airbag assembly, seat subsystems, steering wheels and its active safety and night vision systems, and its other safety electronic systems. During the year ended December 31, 2010, Autoliv�� revenues were approximately 67% of airbags and associated products and approximately 33% of seatbelts and associated products. The Company�� markets are in Europe, North A! merica, Asia-Pacific and Japan. Its customers include the car manufacturers.
During 2010, the products manufactured by Autoliv�� consolidated subsidiaries consisted of approximately 121 million complete seatbelt systems (of which approximately 49 million were fitted with pretensioners), approximately 57 million side-impact airbags (including curtain airbags), approximately 28 million frontal airbag modules, approximately 12 million steering wheels, approximately 11 million electronic units (airbag control), approximately 0.4 million active safety systems and 0.1 million night vision systems. Autoliv owns two principal subsidiaries, AAB and Autoliv ASP, Inc. (ASP). Its AAB and ASP are developers, manufacturers and suppliers to the automotive industry of automotive safety systems. AAB and ASP�� products include seatbelts, frontal and side-impact airbags, steering wheels and seat sub-systems, as well as components for such systems.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Seth Jayson]
Autoliv (NYSE: ALV ) is expected to report Q1 earnings on April 26. Here's what Wall Street wants to see:
The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Autoliv's revenues will shrink -4.1% and EPS will wane -21.2%.
- [By Inyoung Hwang]
Allianz SE (ALV) fell 1.6 percent to 126.40 euros. Europe�� biggest insurer was cut to neutral from buy at Citigroup Inc., which says earnings growth is limited.
- [By Rich Duprey]
In a bid to be more competitive, auto airbag manufacturer Autoliv (NYSE: ALV ) announced yesterday that it will invest $50 million to build a new textile center in China that�will consist of a weaving plant, an airbag cushion plant, and a development center for airbag cushions and textiles.
Top 10 Sliver Companies To Own For 2015: Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc (FBHS)
Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., incorporated on June 9, 1988, is engaged in home and security products with companies focused on the design, manufacture and sale of products in Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry, Plumbing & Accessories, advanced material windows & entry door Systems, and security and storage products. The Company operates through four business segments: Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry, Plumbing & Accessories, Advanced Material Windows & Door Systems, and Security & Storage. The Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry segment manufactures custom, semi-custom, and stock cabinetry for the kitchen, bath, and other areas of the home. Plumbing & Accessories segment manufactures and assembles faucets, accessories, and kitchen sinks. The Advanced Material Windows & Door Systems segment manufactures and sells fiberglass and steel entry door systems. The Security & Storage segment provides locks, safety, and security devices and electronic security products. In June 2013, Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc completed the acquisition of WoodCrafters Home Products.
Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry
The Company�� Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry segment�� products includes brand names, such as Aristokraft, Omega, Kitchen Craft, Schrock, Diamond, HomeCrest, Decora, Kemper, Thomasville and Martha Stewart Living. Principally all of this segment�� sales are in North America. The Company sells directly to kitchen and bath dealers, home centers, wholesalers and builders. During the year ended December 31, 2012, sales to The Home Depot and Lowe's consisted of approximately 32% of net sales of the Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry segment.
The Company competes with Masco and American Woodmark.
Plumbing & Accessories
The Plumbing & Accessories segment manufactures accessories and kitchen sinks in North America, China and India, predominantly under the Moen brand. The sells its Plumbing & Accessories products principally in the United States and Canada. It also sells them in China, India, ! Mexico, South America and Southeast Asia. It sells directly through its own sales force and indirectly through independent manufacturers��representatives, primarily to wholesalers, home centers, mass merchandisers and industrial distributors. During 2012, sales to The Home Depot and Lowe's consisted of approximately 29% of net sales of the Plumbing & Accessories segment.
The Company competes with Delta, Kohler, Pfister and American Standard.
Advanced Material Windows & Door Systems
The Company�� Advanced Material Windows & Door Systems segment manufactures fiberglass and steel entry door systems, vinyl-framed window and patio doors, and urethane millwork product lines. Therma-Tru products include fiberglass and steel residential entry door and patio door systems, primarily for sale in the United States and Canada. Simonton brand of vinyl-framed windows and patio doors are mainly manufactured and sold in the United States. The segment�� principal customers are home centers, millwork building products and wholesale distributors, and specialty dealers that provide products to the residential new construction market, as well as to the remodeling and renovation markets. During 2012, sales to The Home Depot and Lowe�� comprised approximately 17% of net sales of the Advanced Material Windows & Door Systems segment.
The Company competes with Masonite, JELD-WEN and Plastpro, Silverline, Atrium and Milgard.
Security & Storage
The Company�� Security & Storage segment consists of locks, safety and security devices, and electronic security products manufactured, sourced and distributed by Master Lock and tool storage and garage organization products manufactured by Waterloo. The segment sells products principally in the United States Canada, Europe, Australia and Central America. Master Lock manufactures and sells key-controlled and combination padlocks, bicycle and cable locks, built-in locker locks, door hardware, automotive, t! railer an! d towing locks, and other specialty safety and security devices. Master Lock sells products for consumer use to hardware and other retail outlets, wholesale distributors and home centers, industrial and institutional users, original equipment manufacturers and retail outlets. During 2012, Security & Storage sales to international markets comprised approximately 20% of sales.
Waterloo manufactures tool storage and garage organization products, steel toolboxes, tool chests, workbenches and related products. Waterloo primarily sells to Sears retail stores. In addition, Waterloo sells under the Waterloo and private-label brand names to specialty industrial and automotive dealers, mass merchandisers, home centers and hardware stores.
The Company competes with Asian importers, Homak, Stanley Black & Decker, Snap-On, Kennedy, Stack-On and others in the metal storage segment and with Stanley Black & Decker, Keter, Newell RubbermaidAdvisors' Opinion:
- [By Holly LaFon]
Despite economic and political turmoil, equity markets performed well across the board in September of 2013 and over the trailing twelve months. The September gains reversed losses in August and also resulted in positive overall quarterly performance with a number of major indexes moving further into record territory. After disturbing the markets in May and June with comments that they may taper Quantitative Easing (QE), the Fed surprised investors with an announcement that it would not reduce its asset purchases in the near-term. The announcement removed fears that a continued rise in interest rates may stall the economic recovery, as seen by the market's negative reaction to the sharp rise in the 10-year Treasury rate in August of 2013. Investors were also comforted by improving fundamentals both domestically and abroad. The Eurozone may finally be emerging from its prolonged recession and a number of economic reports in the U.S. continue to show progress. Specifically, initial unemployment claims dropped to a multiyear low early in September and the housing market continued to improve, as evidenced by prices rising 12.4 percent year-over year, which along with the stock market's strength, has created a positive wealth effect for consumers. In response to this general economic improvement, consumer confidence increased at the end of September, and the index of leading economic indicators ticked up as well, suggesting that, absent the effects of politics, the recovery in the real economy was continuing. Our portfolios that focus on corporate restructuring (Keeley Small Cap Value, Keeley Small-Mid Cap Value, Keeley Mid Cap Value, Keeley All Cap Value, and Keeley Alternative Value) have all experienced a productive investment cycle with respect to their opportunity sets, and many of our holdings have posted impressive results in recent quarters. Although we acknowledge an improving economy has boosted the outlook for our more cyclical holdings, our research has gu
- [By Travis Hoium]
What: Shares of Fortune Brands Home & Security (NYSE: FBHS ) jumped as much as 11% in early trading after the company released earnings.
- [By John Udovich]
After the bedroom, the kitchen is probably the place where we spend the most time awake in our homes with small cap kitchen stocks Caesarstone Sdot-Yam Ltd (NASDAQ: CSTE) and American Woodmark Corporation (NASDAQ: AMWD) along with diversified midcap Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc (NYSE: FBHS) all putting in a good performance. After all, any sort of housing recovery with more new homes being sold will�help kitchen stocks and so will increased sales of older or foreclosed homes that need to have their kitchens remodeled. But which is the better kitchen stock for investors? Here is�closer look at all three:
- [By Marc Bastow]
Home security products distributor Fortune Brands Home and Security (FBHS) raised its quarterly dividend 20% to 12 cents per share, payable on March 19 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 28.
FBHS Dividend Yield: 1.13%
Top 10 Sliver Companies To Own For 2015: LMP Real Estate Income Fund Inc (RIT)
LMP Real Estate Income Fund Inc. (the Fund) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund�� primary investment objective is to provide high current income. Its secondary investment objective is capital appreciation. Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC (LMPFA) is the Fund�� investment manager and AEW Management and Advisors, L.P. (AEW) is the Fund�� subadviser. LMPFA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Legg Mason, Inc.
The Fund invests in securities related to the real estate industry. Its portfolio includes common stocks, preferred stocks and short-term investments. The Fund invests in sectors, such as office, healthcare, diversified, apartments, industrial, shopping centers, home financing, lodging/resorts, regional malls and specialty.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Joe Eqcome]
Actionable Items:Highest Positive Spread: Nuveen Mortgage Opportunity Term Fund (JLS)Focus Stock: LMP Real Estate Income Fund (RIT)Last Week's Focus Stock: ASA Gold and Precious Metals (ASA)
ECB cuts its rates: The European Central Bank (ECB) will cut its benchmark rate a quarter-of-a-point to 0.5%.
- [By GURUFOCUS]
Special Purpose Funds- Eaton Vance Tax-Adv. Global Dividend Oppor. Fund (ETO) | Yield: 7.3%
- The Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust (GLU) | Yield: 6.2%
- Pimco Global Stocksplus Income Fund (PGP) | Yield: 9.5%
- LMP Real Estate Income Fund Inc. (RIT) | Yield: 7.0%
Top 10 Sliver Companies To Own For 2015: Barclays PLC (BARC)Barclays PLC (Barclays) is a global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, wholesale banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services. The Company�� operations include its overseas offices, subsidiaries and associates. The Company operates in eight segments: UK Retail and Business Banking (UK RBB), Europe Retail and Business Banking (Europe RBB), Africa Retail and Business Banking (Africa RBB), Barclaycard, Barclays Investment Bank, Barclays Corporate Banking, Wealth and Investment Management, and Head Office and Other Operations. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sofia Horta e Costa]
Barclays Plc (BARC) fell to a one-month low as Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. sold a stake in the lender. Fiat SpA lost 6.5 percent as Chrysler Group LLC went in for a vehicle recall. France Telecom SA (FTE) rose after its Orange Business Services unit won a five-year deal to deploy a private network for Heineken NV. Johnson Matthey Plc (JMAT) jumped to its highest price in at least 23 years after posting full-year profit that beat estimates.
Top 10 Sliver Companies To Own For 2015: Destination XL Group Inc (DXLG)
Destination XL Group, Inc., formerly Casual Male Retail Group, Inc., incorporated in 1976, is a specialty retailer of big and tall men�� apparel with retail operations in the United States and London, England and direct businesses throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Its direct business includes several catalogs and e-commerce sites, which supports its brands and product extensions. As of January 28, 2012, it operated 360 Casual MaleXL retail stores, 60 Casual MaleXL outlet stores, 16 DestinationXL stores and 14 Rochester Clothing stores. During the third quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company launched its new DestinationXL e-commerce site which, similar to its DXL store concept, brings all of its existing websites together, making it easier for its customer to shop the full array of product selection that it have to offer from all of its brands with the ease of one shopping cart. Full product assortments from Casual MaleXL, Rochester Clothing, ShoesXL and LivingXL can be found at www.destinationxl.com. In addition to its e-commerce and catalog businesses, it operated 7 international Web stores serving twenty-six European countries during fiscal 2011.
Casual MaleXL Outlet
The Company�� 60 Casual MaleXL outlet stores, with their supporting direct business, B&T Factory Direct, generates approximately 12% of the Company's business. It offers a private-label program, specifically for its Casual MaleXL outlet stores and its B&T Factory Direct businesses, which is similar to its lifestyle private label lines found in its full-price retail stores but made at lower costs and sold at lower price points for its value-oriented customers. It carries Canyon Ridge, which is similar in style to its Harbor Bay product line, 555 Turnpike, which is targeted towards its younger customers, and Fuse, a contemporary line similar in style to its Synrgy product line Traveler Technology is a traditional line similar to its Gold Series.
Casual MaleXL Retail
Th! e Casual Male business offers a selection of sportswear, dress clothing, footwear and accessories for the big and tall customer at moderate prices. Its full-price Casual Male merchandise is sold through its 360 Casual MaleXL retail stores, Casual MaleXL catalogs and e-commerce site. The majority of the Casual Male merchandise is basic or fashion-neutral items, such as jeans, casual slacks, tee-shirts, polo shirts, dress shirts and suit separates. Casual Male�� clothing has features specifically designed for its customer, such as waist-relaxer pants, stretch belts, zipper ties, wide band socks, neck-relaxer shirts and clothing with comfort-stretch technology and reinforced stress points. In addition to its many private label lines, it carry several well-known brands of merchandise including: Polo Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Geoffrey Beene, Nautica Jeans Co., Levi��, Dockers, Calvin Klein, Reebok and
At January 28, 2012, it operated 14 Rochester Clothing stores, located in major cities throughout the United States and one store in London, EnglandAn important element to the Company's business is its high-end, luxury fashion apparel offered by Rochester Clothing. Its Rochester Clothing stores carry a selection of apparel, at higher price points, from branded manufacturers, such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Robert Graham, Lacoste, Facconable, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Brioni, Cutter and Buck, Tommy Bahama, Tommy Hilfilger, Thomas Dean, Paul & Shark and others. The Rochester customer is able to find a range of apparel from traditional and modern sportswear to suits and accessories.
B&T Factory Direct
The Company�� B&T Factory Direct Web store enhances its existing Casual MaleXL outlet stores. The merchandise offered in its B&T Factory Direct catalogs and on its Website is a selection but similar to the merchandise that can be found in its Casual MaleXL outlet stores. In addition, B&T Factory Direct often features a special clearance o! pportunit! ies of product and provides opportunities of product obtained from Casual MaleXL and Rochester Clothing, offering the B&T Factory Direct customer the ability to purchase branded product.
The LivingXL business, which includes its LivingXL Web store and catalogs, specializes in the selling of selected products. The types of products sold on its Website and in its catalogs for both men and women and include chairs, outdoor accessories, travel accessories, bed and bath and fitness equipment.
Its ShoesXL Web store carries a line of men�� footwear in extended sizes, offering customers a range of footwear. The assortment on ShoesXL is a reflection of its apparel, with an assortment from moderate to luxury and from casual to formal. ShoesXL has a more than 500 styles of shoes, ranging in sizes from 10M to 18M and widths up to 5E. It carries a number of designer brands including Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds, Timberland, Calvin Klein, Lacoste and Bruno Magli. In addition, it has added the expanded shoe assortments within its existing Casual MaleXL and Rochester Clothing catalogs.
From the DestinationXL homepage, the customers can also search across all of its brands without having to specifically shop Casual Male versus Rochester. By searching for a shirt in their size, DestinationXL provides them product selection from all three of its concepts.
The Company offers selected Casual Male merchandise on their websites at www.Sears.com and www.Sears.ca. It operates 7 online stores for both its Casual MaleXL and Rochester Clothing brands that penetrate 26 European countries, including the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. It engages GSI Commerce, Inc. (GSI) for the design, development and operations of the seven online stores. Subsequent to year end, it decided to discontinue its international Web stores including terminating its contract with GSI.
The Comp! any compe! tes with Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney Company Inc, Kohl�� and Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, SA.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
As we head into Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, small cap apparel retail stocks Cache, Inc (NASDAQ: CACH), Stein Mart, Inc (NASDAQ: SMRT), Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc (NASDAQ: PSUN) and Destination XL Group Inc (NASDAQ: DXLG) have the distinction of being the best performing small cap apparel retail stocks for this year (according to Finviz.com) with gains of 111.6%, 92.7%, 88.7% and 65.7%, respectively. What are these high flying small caps doing right in the apparel retail space and will they continue delivering a stellar performance for Black Friday and the all important holiday season for�investors? Here is what new and existing investors and traders alike need to know or consider:
- [By Peter Graham]
The Q1 2014 earnings report for The Men's Wearhouse, Inc (NYSE: MW), a potential peer of men�� apparel retailers like Destination XL Group Inc (NASDAQ: DXLG) and�Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ: JOSB), is scheduled for before the market opens on Friday.�Aside from the Men's Wearhouse earnings report, it should be said that Destination XL Group Inc reported Q1 2014 earnings on May 29th (Sales rebounded in April to offset weather impacted business) while�Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc reported Q4 2013 earnings on April 2nd�with Q1 2014 earnings expected on Friday. I should mention though that The Men's Wearhouse is acquiring Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc���a deal recently approved of by the FTC. The merger creates the fourth-largest retailer of menswear, which will have $3.5 billion in�pro forma sales,�1,700 stores and about 23,000 employees.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Destination XL Group (Nasdaq: DXLG ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Eric Volkman]
Destination XL (NASDAQ: DXLG ) results for the company's Q1 have been released. For the quarter, sales were $93.6 million, a decline from the $95.5 million in the same period the previous year. Net income suffered a steeper fall, dropping to just over $1 million ($0.02 per diluted share) from the Q1 2012 result of $2.3 million ($0.05).
Top 10 Sliver Companies To Own For 2015: Pinnacle Foods Inc (PF)
Pinnacle Foods Inc., incorporated on July 28, 2003, is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded food products in North America. The Company operates in three segments: the Birds Eye Frozen Division, the Duncan Hines Grocery Division and the Specialty Foods Division. The Birds Eye Frozen Division and the Duncan Hines Grocery Division, which collectively represent its North America Retail operations, include the brands. Its brand portfolio enjoys household penetration in the United States, where its products can be found in approximately 85% of U.S. households. Its products are sold through supermarkets, grocery wholesalers and distributors, mass merchandisers, super centers, convenience stores, dollar stores, drug stores and warehouse clubs in the United States and Canada, as well as in military channels and foodservice locations. On June 24, 2011, the Company completed the sale of its Watsonville, California facility which had been recorded as an asset held for sale.
Birds Eye Frozen Division
The Company�� Birds Eye Frozen Division includes its steamed and non-steamed product offerings, with a 27.0% market share, making Birds Eye the recognized frozen vegetables brand in the United States. Birds Eye was the Company to capture a nationwide market share with a product that enables consumers to conveniently steam vegetables in microwaveable packaging.
Duncan Hines Grocery Division
Duncan Hines is the division�� brand and includes cake mixes, ready-to-serve frostings, brownie mixes, muffin mixes, and cookie mixes. During the fiscal year ended September 23, 2012, the Company added two additional items to the line. In February 2012, the Company introduced a line of frosting products, Duncan Hines Frosting Creations, which uses a patent pending frosting system to allow consumers to customize their frosting into one of 12 different flavors. The Company also offers a complete line of shelf-stable pickle products that we market and distribute n! ationally, primarily under the Vlasic brand, and regionally under the Milwaukee�� and Wiejske Wyroby brands. In 2012, the Company introduced Vlasic Farmers Garden, artisan-quality pickle line.
Specialty Foods Division
The Company�� snack products primarily consist of Tim�� Cascade, Snyder of Berlin and Husman��. These direct store delivery brands have local awareness and hold market share positions in their regional markets. The Company also manufactures and distributes certain products, mainly in the frozen breakfast, canned meat, and pie and pastry fruit filling categories, through food service channels. The Company also manufactures and distributes certain private label products in the canned meat, shelf-stable pickles and frozen seafood. As part of its ongoing strategic focus over the last several years, the Company has deemphasized the food service and private label businesses for the benefit of its higher margin branded food products.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Selena Maranjian]
The biggest new holdings are Canadian Pacific Railway�and Allstate. Other new holdings of interest include Pinnacle Foods (NYSE: PF ) and Eaton (NYSE: ETN ) . Pinnacle Foods debuted via an IPO earlier this year, and soon after, initiated�a dividend, which yields about 2.8%. Its brands�include Birds Eye, Aunt Jemima, Hungry-Man, Van de Kamp's, Armour, Lender's, Mrs. Paul's, Vlasic, Log Cabin, Mrs. Butterworth, and Duncan Hines, among others. With the company carrying significant debt, it's reasonable that some worry about its interest in acquiring Unilever's�Wish-Bone salad dressing brand and Del Monte Foods' canned foods.
- [By Eric Volkman]
Diamond's new hire was most recently CFO of privately held Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. Before that, he filled the same role with a number of firms, including Cott and Swift & Company. Silcock launched his career at Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB ) in 1979. He currently serves on the board of directors of Pinnacle Foods (NYSE: PF ) .