The Top Eight Publicly-Listed Food Producers

Heinz, one of the top food producers in the U.S. was sold to Warren Buffet and Brazilian private equity firm 3 G Capital for $23.2 billion this week. Heinz was sold at $72.50 per share representing a 19% premium to its all high. Heinz equity investors were lucky to receive such a nice premium in this buyout.

The food sector is always a favorable sector to invest in for investors looking to earn decent total returns in the long-term. Food companies generally tend to pay above average dividends and have consistent earnings regardless of the state of the economy. They are also highly innovative relative to other industries. For example, cereal makers come up with new varieties of cereals every year and the possibilities for innovation are endless.

For investors looking to invest in this sector, a good place to start would be the top companies. So the top eight food producers based on revenue in the latest quarter are listed below with their current dividend yields:

1.Company: Kellogg Co (K)
Current Dividend Yield: 2.95%

2.Company: General Mills Inc (GIS)
Current Dividend Yield: 2.98%

3.Company: Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ)
Current Dividend Yield: 1.96%

4.Company: Campbell Soup Co (CPB)
Current Dividend Yield: 3.00%

5.Company: ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG)
Current Dividend Yield: 2.96%

6.Company: Kraft Foods Group Inc (KRFT)
Current Dividend Yield: 4.24%

7.Company: Hillshire Brands Co 
– Acquired by Tyson Foods

8.Company: The Hershey Company (HSY)
Current Dividend Yield: 2.08%

I have left out Heinz since it has been bought out and will cease to trade.

Source: Heinz Sold as Deals Take Off (The Wall Street Journal)

Note: Dividend yields noted are as of Feb 15, 2013

Disclosure: Long GIS


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