Leading brewer Diageo plc (DEO - Analyst Report) has launched Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company to tap into the growing base of whiskey lovers. The company, headquartered in Tullahoma, TN, is committed to source rare and old whiskeys from distilleries around the world.
Orphan Barrel Whiskey has come up with two variants of old whiskey — 20-year-old Barterhouse Whiskey and 26-year-aged Old Blowhard Whiskey. These limited-supply whiskies, sourced from the Stitzel-Weller facility in Louisville, KY, are scheduled to hit the shelves at select locations in March this year.
Barterhouse Whiskey with subtle roasted grain, charred oak and brown sugar flavors has been priced at $75. On the other hand, Old Blowhard Whiskey, flavored with smoke, honey and orange peel, has been priced at $150. Both the variants have been bottled at Tullahoma.
Diageo released the first-half 2014 earnings in Jan 2014. The U.K.-based brewer’s earnings in the first half of fiscal 2014 went up 4% y/y on a local currency basis to 62.6 pence (99.2 cents* per share) from 60.2 pence (95.9 cents** per share).
The increase in profit was the result of strong organic growth of Diageo’s strategic brands. Increasing reach to the burgeoning middle class coupled with fast penetration into emerging markets also contributed to the positive results.
The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock is one of the top players in the whiskey category. The company also commands a leading position both in the beer and vodka markets with a strong portfolio of globally recognized flagship brands, including Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Bailey's and Guinness. Diageo betters its products through continuous innovations.
Another better-ranked stock in the same sector is Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ - Analyst Report) sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other stocks in the consumer staples sector worth considering are Diamond Foods Inc. (DMND - Analyst Report) and The Hain Celestial Group Inc. (HAIN - Analyst Report). Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
*£1=$1.58444 (average price of the half year ended December 31, 2013).
**£1=$1.59292 (average price of the half year ended Dec 31, 2012)