Waddell & Reed New Concepts
Category: Health & nutrition
Burgeoning trends at a reasonable price. That’s Kimberly Scott’s philosophy. Her Waddell & Reed New Concepts Fund (UNECX) has averaged 11.5% returns over the past decade, better than 95% of its peers, and these days she favors Hain Celestial. The case starts with the exploding appeal of the kind of natural and organic foods the company sells. It ain’t just Whole Foods (WFM, Fortune 500) either, she notes; traditional grocers are devoting more shelf space to the category. Plus, Scott says, Hain has been smart about adding innovative brands like the British baby-food maker Ella’s Kitchen, acquired in May, to its existing lineup. (Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) began stocking Ella’s squeezable pouches at its 4,000 U.S. stores last month.) Hain’s earnings have been mounting at close to 40% for the past three years, and analysts project another three to five years of 15% EPS increases. What’s more, Scott says, Hain Celestial is the “rare” growth company with a focus on squeezing productivity and profits from its manufacturing operations and supply chain. The upshot: Her “conservative” projections have the stock, currently trading around $85, reaching $135 in the next four years. –S.M.
Slow and steady has always been the recipe for Don Yacktman’s world-beating results. (His $13.5 billion namesake (YACKX) and $11.7 billion Focused Fund (YAFFX)have both returned about 11% a year for a decade, crushing the S&P (SPX) by 3.2 percentage points a year.) His strategy: Buy great companies when they’re out of favor and hold them, more or less forever. With the market regularly hitting new highs, Yacktman and son and co-manager Stephen are craving comfort food. “We’re focused on defense more than offense,” Stephen says, and PepsiCo promises just about the best “risk-adjusted” returns out there. Between dividends and stock buybacks, the company is paying shareholders 4.5% to 5% in cash. Add in anticipated growth from price increases and 2% to 3% unit volume increases and you can expect to earn 9% to 10%, Stephen argues. Given Pepsi’s stranglehold on the snack-food aisle and its forward thinking about healthy alternatives, that return won’t be nibbled away over time. “Think of it like buying an undervalued triple-A bond,” says Don. “It’s not very exciting, but that’s the point: You sleep at night when the wind blows.” –S.M.