Zacks Investment Research upgraded The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN - Analyst Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on Jun 24, 2014, following the company’s better-than-expected financial results for third-quarter fiscal 2014.
Why the Upgrade?
A leader in natural food and personal care product categories with an extensive portfolio of well-known brands and strong fundamentals, Hain Celestial is poised to surge as the economy gradually revives and the demand for organic food increases.
If we look at the company’s earnings surprise history over the last 14 quarters, Hain Celestial has topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 3.9%, including an earnings surprise of 2.3% in third-quarter fiscal 2014. In the last concluded quarter, the company posted earnings of 88 cents a share that came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a couple of cents and surged 22.2% year over year. Management cited strong top-line growth, integration of acquired businesses and focus on high margin carrying brands as factors that facilitated bottom-line growth.
For fiscal 2014, management now anticipates sales to increase by 24% and earnings per share to grow between 24% and 25%.
Hain Celestial’s strategic investments coupled with continued efforts to contain costs, increase productivity and enhance cash flows and margins enabled it to deliver healthy results. The company, which competes with General Mills Inc. (GIS - Analyst Report), expects to sustain strong momentum by remaining well positioned to capitalize on the growing global demand for organic products through acquisitions, which has been a key strategy in building market share.
Hain Celestial, through strategic opportunities, constantly endeavors to expand its footprint in organic and natural products and in turn, "Change the Way the World Eats". Its recent acquisitions are that of Tilda Limited, a renowned name in Basmati rice, and Rudi's Organic Bakery, one of the leading organic and gluten-free companies.
Strong results and the upbeat guidance triggered an uptrend in the Zacks Consensus Estimate, depicting analysts’ confidence in the stock. This is evident from the movement witnessed in the Zacks Consensus Estimate, which increased 1.9% to $3.17 for fiscal 2014 and 2.2% to $3.70 for fiscal 2015 in the past 60 days.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other better-ranked stocks worth considering include, Treehouse Foods, Inc. (THS - Snapshot Report) and Inventure Foods, Inc. (SNAK - Snapshot Report), both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).