On St. Patrick’s Day -- the fourth largest drinking day in the U.S., behind New Year's Eve, Christmas and the Fourth of July -- let’s hang out with a couple of beer stocks that might bring some Irish luck to your portfolio.
As per the National Retail Federation, about 53% of Americans plan to celebrate this year’s Irish holiday and spend an average of $36.52 on green clothing, food, drinking and home decoration with shamrocks, leprechauns and pots of gold. While spending per person will likely rise 2.1% from last year, total spending would fall to $4.6 billion from $4.8 billion. This is because the country is likely to see 6 million fewer people celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
But this should not stop Guinness beer and Irish whiskey from being consumed on a large scale. Investors can expect higher revenues for companies selling these Irish alcoholic beverages and a surge in their stock prices. So raise a toast to these stocks:
Diageo Plc (DEO - Free Report)
Based in London, Diageo is a global leader in alcoholic beverages and has an outstanding portfolio of world-famous brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
The company generates nearly 20% of its revenues from beer. Guinness Stout has historically been the biggest selling alcoholic drink this time of year, followed by other Irish-themed brands such as Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, Harp lager, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Baileys Original and Irish Cream liqueur.
According to the company estimates, the Guinness brand will find its pot of gold as more than 13 million pints of Guinness is expected to be consumed this St. Patrick’s Day. This is nearly four times the consumption on a normal day.
Higher sales generally came from the U.S., where Guinness beer brands make up for a combined $28.2 million sales in March. This is more than double the sales in any other month and accounts for 16% of annual sales. Further, Diageo is sponsoring the New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade this year, which will likely bring in more fortunes for the company.
The stock gained over 4% last year in March following St. Patrick Day. It currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Heineken NV (HEINY - Free Report)
Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Heineken is engaged in brewing and selling premium beer and cider worldwide. Its namesake brand is the largest selling in Ireland, with Beamish Stout, Murphy’s Irish Stout and Murphy’s Irish Red being the most popular on St. Patrick’s Day.
Heineken also followed Diageo by resuming its sponsorship of New York City’s main St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The stock retuned about 7% last March since the Irish festival. This trend is likely to continue this year as well given its top Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Investors can raise a toast to returns with these stocks, and with a favorable Zacks Rank, these have a good chance of spreading some good cheer.