Investor Alert: Starbucks' Legal Challenges Raise Questions About Stock Viability

Earlier this month, three Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) customers, Maria Bollinger, Dawn Miller, and Shunda Smith, filed a $5 million class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against SBUX. Their argument centered around SBUX charging extra for non-dairy milk and unfairly targeting individuals with lactose intolerance – a condition that affects their ability to consume dairy.

The lawsuit alleges an "excessively high" fee, specifically a surcharge of $0.50 to $0.80, on beverages at SBUX that offer non-dairy and lactose-free options such as soy, almond, coconut, and oat milk. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) considers lactose intolerance, a condition that impacts 30 million to 50 million Americans, as qualifying for disability status.

Plaintiffs contended that SBUX violated their rights under the ADA and California Unruh Civil Rights Act - an act prohibiting businesses from discriminating against state residents based on age, race, sex, and disability, among other criteria, because they charge extra for plant-based milk in their beverages.

However, an SBUX spokesperson emphasized that domestic customers indeed enjoy non-dairy options without any additional charges, stating that "In U.S. Starbucks stores, at no additional cost, customers can add up to four ounces of non-dairy milk to hot or iced brewed coffee or tea, cold brew and Americano beverages."

Such controversy could corrode consumer trust and loyalty, precipitating decreased sales and profitability. Should an indictment of violating anti-discrimination laws befall SBUX, substantial financial penalties combined with brand image damage are probable. These factors could significantly influence shareholder value over the long term.

Safety Concerns Threaten Reputation and Consumer Trust

Apart from the abovementioned conflict, the company is also grappling with other challenges. This month, the federal safety agency reported that it is recalling over 440,000 Nestlé S.A. (NSRGY)-manufactured SBUX-branded mugs sold during the winter holidays. The action follows numerous user complaints of burns or lacerations.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that microwaving or filling the mugs with extremely hot liquid caused them to overheat or shatter, presenting burn and laceration risks

SBUX-branded mugs' recall due to safety hazards significantly threatens the company’s reputation and consumer trust. The incident could result in potential legal and financial repercussions and tarnish the company's image, consequently affecting future merchandise sales and its bottom line.

The Fallout From Controversies Over International Conflicts

Since Israel's military offensive in Gaza, global protests and grassroots boycott campaigns have impacted SBUX. After the company sued its workers' union over a social media post in October, an activist called to boycott SBUX products.

The chain accused that by using their company name and logo on X (previously Twitter) to express solidarity with Palestinians, Workers United had violated its trademark. In response, Workers United filed its court document, accusing SBUX of defamation, specifically suggesting that the union endorses terrorism and violence.

Due to the unresolved disagreement, SBUX found itself targeted by both pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protests. CEO Laxman Narasimhan acknowledged this in a year-end letter published highlighting vandalism instances experienced in global cities and within U.S.-based SBUX stores.

Denying political affiliations, SBUX rebutted social media rumors suggesting ties to governmental or military operations.

The escalating protests and boycotts could threaten the brand's reputation, sales, and consumer trust. These challenges could also affect SBUX's financial standing and future viability as it navigates the complexities of international conflicts and societal pressures.

Starbucks' Sales Woes and Investor Concerns

In its fiscal 2024 first quarter release, SBUX reported that global same-store sales had only risen by 5% year-over-year in the three months leading up to January. The company also downgraded its guidance, projecting an increase between 4% and 6% in global same-store sales for the full year of 2024.

On an earnings call, Narasimhan asserted that the company observed a negative impact on its business in the Middle East. He added that since mid-November, the chain's U.S. sales have also lagged, partly due to public "misperceptions" about SBUX's stance on the conflict.

Some analysts, however, attribute the sales slowdown to a broader decline in sentiment among U.S. consumers and an economic recovery stall in China – its second-largest market with approximately 6,500 outlets. They point out that others noticed this trend coincided with a new winter menu launch, which could have underwhelmed customers.

Furthermore, the Frappuccino provider recently admitted to an unsuccessful beta test of their non-fungible token loyalty website named Starbucks Odyssey. Concurrently, Executive Vice President and CFO Rachel Ruggeri chose to sell 3,221 shares on March 4, 2024.

Over the past year, Ruggeri sold 5,246 shares without making any purchases in the SBUX stock. Her transaction history reveals consistent selling patterns with no recorded insider buys within that period. On the other hand, ten insider sales occurred at the company during this same timeframe, indicating an overarching trend among its insiders.

Bottom Line

The coffee company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee since 1971, and it stands today as the world's premier specialty coffee roaster and retailer, with over 38,000 stores globally. However, shares of SBUX have plunged 4.8% over the past month.

While the company's reputation and legal standing might improve in the future, its present fundamentals appear weak. Thus, it could be wise to wait for a better entry point into the stock.

Top 4 Halloween Stocks to Watch for Sweet October Gains

As October unfurls, Halloween, commonly recognized as the eeriest time of the year, prompts early discussions on costumes, trick-or-treat, and, most essentially, candy. Beyond the fun and fright, Halloween has become a significant profit-generating venture in the retail sector.

2021 witnessed a considerable resurgence in Halloween sales as the world moved past the pandemic's threats and kindled their long-awaited festivities. Halloween expenditure exceeded the pre-pandemic benchmark, promising a new record high for 2023.

According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween spending could reach approximately $12.2 billion this year, translating to an average of $108.24 per person. This figure is measurably higher than last year's record-setting $10.6 billion or $102.74 per capita.

Research highlights an enhanced interest in Halloween-centric events, with 73% of people indicating plans for celebration, a rise from last year's 69%. Within this group, 68% plan to distribute candies, driving the overall candy expenditure predictions to a staggering $3.6 billion.

However, the Halloween spirit might face a chilling blow this year. Escalated candy costs could potentially burn severe holes in buyers' pockets. The latest Consumer Price Index report unveils candy prices to increase 7.5% year-over-year in September. Inflationary trends have cast shadows on almost every commodity this year, but high candy costs call for heavier blame.

Increasing candy costs are primarily attributed to the global sugar shortfall. Global sugar supply is expected to decline by 10% to 15%, steered by harsh weather conditions. Additionally, soaring cocoa prices, fueled by supply chain hurdles and persisting droughts, present a disheartening picture for ardent chocolate lovers.

Researchers at the sales and marketing group Advantage Solutions surveyed over 1,000 adults. About 40% of those surveyed said inflation will impact their plans to buy candy. However, despite rising costs, many people would be unwilling to hold back on celebrations, as evident from the projected Halloween spending, benefiting the candy companies.

A recent survey conducted by Advantage Solutions amongst a sample of over 1,000 adults revealed that approximately 40% of respondents anticipate a considerable inflationary impact on their candy purchases. Yet, the spirit of Halloween appears indomitable, as consumers are seemingly unwilling to dampen their celebrations, resonating with the foreseen spending predictions. Candy companies would benefit by passing the increased prices to the customers.

Given the landscape of mushrooming Halloween spending in the U.S. and globally, let’s look at some candy stocks: Nestlé S.A. (NSRGY), The Hershey Company (HSY), Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. (TR), and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. (RMCF), well-positioned to thrive in the foreseeable future.

Nestlé S.A. (NSRGY)

Based in Vevey, Switzerland, NSRGY, with a staggering market cap surpassing $306 billion, reports its recent majority stake acquisition of Brazilian luxury chocolate manufacturer Grupo CRM. The move was made last month as a strategic step to broaden NSRGY’s portfolio within the premium chocolate niche. Its offering is currently sparse in this sector, apart from the Italian brand Baci.

Initially, the acquisition raised eyebrows due to NSRGY’s concentration on the coffee, pet care, and nutrition sectors, but on further examination, the action holds a clear rationale. NSRGY runs a chocolate enterprise in Brazil, and thus, the amalgamation of production channels could lead to valuable synergies. Additionally, success within the premium chocolate category has been seminal in brands like Lindt.

Over the past five years, its net income and EPS grew at CAGRs of 3.7% and 6.5%, respectively. Its trailing-12-month ROCE, ROTC, and ROTA of 24.01%, 10.18, and 7.35 are 105.5%, 54.8%, and 53.4% higher than the industry average of 11.68%, 6.58%, and 4.79%, respectively.

Net financial debt swelled by 14.7% year-over-year to CHF 55.61 billion ($61.53 billion) for the first half of 2023 (January 2023 - June 2023), while its free cash flow stood at CHF 3.42 billion ($3.79 billion). The increase in debt primarily reflects the dividend payment of CHF 7.8 billion ($8.63 billion) and share buybacks of CHF 2.6 billion ($2.88 billion).

For the fiscal third quarter ending September 2023, analysts expect NSRGY’s revenue to increase 8% year-over-year to $25.33 billion. For the fiscal year ending December 2023, its revenue and EPS are expected to surge 2.8% and 7.6% year-over-year to $104.83 billion and $5.58, respectively.

Rising sugar and cocoa prices may impose increased production costs on NSRGY. The firm has implemented measures to alleviate the expenses by adjusting its product prices.

The company's key strategy pertains to establishing a sustainable supply chain for cocoa to preserve the stability of its supply. For instance, it aims to source 100% of its cocoa through the Nestle Cocoa Plan by 2025. This addresses short-term cost concerns and guarantees the long-term sustainability of their raw materials.

The Hershey Company (HSY)

Chocolate bar and candy-making giant HSY, boasting a market cap of over $38 billion, underscores its global domination by enhancing a rich diversity of universally acclaimed brands. Excelling in the constantly evolving sugar confectionery arena, HSY’s strategically alluring product category capitalizes on the easy accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and irresistible indulgence associated with confectionery treats.

HSY fortifies its influential brand presence through a calculated blend of inventive developments and strategic business acquisitions. This proactive approach targets a heightened adaptation to ever-emerging consumer demands and trends, catering to domestic and international markets.

In this regard, Hershey Canada recently marked a significant milestone, heralding the debut of HERSHEY'S OAT MADE, an innovative plant-based chocolate. This enticing and wholesome option responsibly addresses the escalating interest in plant-based dietary alternatives, bolstering the likelihood of Hershey Canada’s revenue surge and augmenting HSY’s overall business performance.

Over the past three and five years, its net income grew at 18.6% and 11.7% CAGRs, while revenue grew at 10.7% and 7.1% CAGRs over the same periods.

HSY has consistently outperformed expectations in terms of top and bottom-line quarterly returns. Considering the approaching holiday season, commencing from Halloween, HSY could achieve its guidance for the second half of 2023.

For the fiscal third quarter ending September 2023, analysts expect HSY’s revenue and EPS to increase 8.5% and 13.2% year-over-year to $2.96 billion and $2.46, respectively.

In addition, institutional investment decisions tend to wield a profound influence, particularly amongst individual investors. Several institutions have modified their HSY stock holdings. Institutions own the lion's share in HSY, with roughly 78.3% ownership. Of the 1,410 institutional holders, 573 have increased their positions in the stock. Moreover, 87 institutions have taken new positions (2,337,118 shares).

Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. (TR)

TR, a producer and distributor of confectionery products in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and internationally, has demonstrated significant strides in augmenting company efficiencies, as evidenced by its Return on Total Capital (ROTC) of 7.95%, which is 20.8% higher than the industry average of 6.58% and about a 23% higher than its five-year average of 6.47%.

In the second quarter and first half of 2023, TR witnessed substantial sales growth credited to robust sales strategies and targeted marketing programs, primarily seasonal sales programs. While increased sales prices contributed to this improvement, heightened sales volumes also played a part.

However, a survey by Shiny Smiles Veneers on August 25, 2023, collated responses from 1,002 Americans on their Halloween candy preferences, which may pose challenges for the sweet confectioner. The study revealed that 13.8% of respondents would prefer not to receive Tootsie Roll, 13.9% Nik-n-Lip, and 10.9% Double Bubble. This consumer sentiment could potentially impact TR’s future sales.

Despite making strides toward margin restoration, TR is yet to attain its historical levels. It projects increased ingredient costs in 2024 compared to 2023. Given escalating input costs and the economy's high inflation rate, there would be challenges to achieving the former profit margins anytime soon. TR remains vigilant in managing the mounting costs and further industry price increments, considering the implications and limitations of transferring such costs to its customer base.

Another concern is labor challenges encountered within several of TR's manufacturing facilities, which could jeopardize the company's supply chain efficiency.

On a positive note, TR pays its shareholders a $0.36 per share dividend annually, translating to a 1.16% yield on the current share price. Its four-year dividend yield is 1.03%. The company’s dividend payouts have grown at CAGRs of 2.5% and 2.7% over the past three and five years, respectively.

TR’s five-year average Return on Common Equity (ROCE) was 8.61%, and the five-year average dividend yield stood at 1.05%, so the promising fundamentals may not have yet captured investors' attention. Investors could delve deeper into this stock as additional factors may transform it into a long-term growth prospect.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. (RMCF)

International premium confectionary and chocolate franchisor and producer RMCF announced the addition of a franchisee from Missouri Western State University’s respected Center for Franchise Development.

The firm's persistent and assertive adherence to its Strategic Transformation Plan aims to cement RMCF as America's top premium chocolate provider. CEO Rob Sarlls expressed optimism about the company’s prospects, suggesting the initiatives implemented this year would boost revenue in the coming quarters, coinciding with the festive season.

Operational changes have begun showing a positive impact. While reducing its driver fleet by 33%, RMCF has maintained consistent pound volume shipping from its Durango facility, thanks to its logistic optimization.

Furthermore, RMCF has restructured its franchisee royalty and introduced a volume-based discount program. These strategies could encourage high-performing franchisees to expand to multiple locations. RMCF has also tackled issues impeding its e-commerce activity, now outsourcing to reliable third-party services for order fulfillment.

For the fiscal second quarter that ended August 31, 2023, RMCF’s total revenues stood at $6.56 million, consistent with the prior-year quarter. Retail sales and royalties contributed to these steady results. Its net loss from continuing operations was $999 thousand, a significant decline from the previous year's loss of $3.15 million. As of August 31, 2023, its current assets stood at $10.10 million.

Furthermore, RMCF participated in its inaugural investor conference in almost a decade to foster increased transparency and engagement with shareholders and potential investors. This move signifies a renewed commitment to investor relations under new leadership while providing a platform to detail the company’s future strategies.

Master the Art of Safeguarding Your Investments From Currency Volatility With 5 Assets

Jerome Powell and his team at the Federal Reserve have raised the benchmark borrowing cost to 5.25%-5.50%. While a 2.6% rise in inflation, down from a 4.1% rise in Q1 and well below the estimate for a gain of 3.2%, and an annualized increase of 2.4% in the gross domestic product in the second quarter, topping the 2% estimate, had raised hopes that the elusive “soft landing” could be within reach, recent developments have been less than encouraging.

As the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, gets underway, with a more-than-forecasted wage increase, there are increasing concerns that interest rates could stay higher for longer.

While a hawkish stance usually lends strength to the dollar, Fitch Ratings’ recent downgrade of the U.S. long-term rating to AA+ from AAA, citing the erosion of confidence in fiscal management, has weakened the global reserve currency.

Moreover, the slump in their market value and a consequent increase in their yields due to a selloff of long-duration fixed-income instruments, which led to Moody’s cutting ratings of 10 U.S. banks and putting some big names on downgrade watch, has not helped matters either.

With a material risk that an apparently resilient economy could find itself regressing into an economic slowdown, it is understandable why seasoned investors could look at international equities for diversification opportunities to manage tail risks.

However, the pandemic, armed conflict in Ukraine, shifting geopolitical inclinations in the Middle East, the recent expansion of the BRICS bloc of developing nations accompanied by calls to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar, and the Bank of Japan’s policy tweak of loosening its yield curve are all indicating to a changing world order.

Hence, returns from international investments are as much a function of wild swings in currency exchange rates as they are of the performance of the securities of underlying businesses. To help investors reduce risk exposure to unfavorable impacts of the former, many currency-hedged mutual funds and ETFs focus on providing long (buy) and short (sell) exposures to many currencies.

In view of the above, these five exchange-traded funds could be worthy of consideration:

Xtrackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity ETF (DBEF)

DBEF is an exchange-traded fund launched and managed by DBX Advisors LLC. It offers currency-hedged exposure to developed equity markets outside the U.S., making it a suitable fixture in long-term buy-and-hold portfolios. DBEF uses short-term forward contracts to neutralize the impact of exchange rate fluctuations, thereby rendering the performance of the underlying stocks the sole driver of returns.

With $4.14 billion in AUM, DBEF’s top holding is Nestle S.A. (NSRGY), which has a 2.04% weighting in the fund. It is followed by  ASML Holding NV (ASML) at 1.72% and  Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) at 1.65%. The highly diversified fund has 1,000 holdings, with only 18.97% of its assets concentrated in the top 10 holdings.

DBEF has an expense ratio of 0.35%, lower than the category average of 0.46%. It currently pays $6.22 annually as dividends, and its payouts have grown at a 55.7% CAGR over the past five years. It saw a net inflow of $21.22 million over the past month and $255.64 million over the past three months. The ETF has a beta of 0.71.

iShares Currency Hedged MSCI EAFE ETF (HEFA)

As the name suggests, HEFA is a currency-hedged exchange-traded fund that is managed by BlackRock Fund Advisors. The fund invests in public equity markets globally, excluding the U.S./Canada region, through derivatives and through other funds in value stocks of companies operating across diversified sectors.

Almost all of HEFA’s $3.46 billion in AUM is allocated to iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA), which has a 99.95% weighting in the fund, with USD comprising the remaining assets of HEFA.

EFA’s top holding is Nestle S.A. (NSRGY), which has a 2.13% weighting in the fund, followed by  ASML Holding NV (ASML) at 1.76% and  Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) at 1.68%. The highly diversified constituent fund has 1000 holdings, with only 17.08% of its assets concentrated in the top 10 holdings.

HEFA has an expense ratio of 0.35%, which is lower than the category average of 0.40%. It currently pays $6.56 annually as dividends, and its payouts have grown at a 49.1% CAGR over the past five years. It saw a net inflow of $74.06 million over the past month and $176.04 million over the past three months. The ETF has a beta of 0.7.

WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund ETF (DXJ)

DXJ is an exchange-traded fund co-managed by Mellon Investments Corporation and WisdomTree Asset Management, Inc. The fund offers broad-based exposure to the Japanese equity market while hedging out the effects of currency fluctuation. Hence, it is best suited for investors who are bullish on Japanese stocks but bearish on JPY’s value vis-à-vis that of USD.

With $2.72 billion in AUM, DXJ’s top holding is  Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), which has a 4.86% weighting in the fund, followed by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) at 4.37%, and Mitsubishi Corporation (MSBHF) at 3.64%. The well-diversified fund has 435 holdings, with only 30.7% of its assets concentrated in the top 10 holdings.

DXJ has an expense ratio of 0.48%, which enables investors to benefit from hedging while incurring costs lower than what could be managed while doing it on their own. It currently pays $2.60 annually as dividends, and its payouts have grown at a 9.8% CAGR over the past five years.

DXJ’s net inflow came in at $23.56 million over the past month and $731.28 million over the past three months. It has a beta of 0.65.

WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund ETF (HEDJ)

HDJ is an exchange-traded fund co-managed by Mellon Investments Corporation and WisdomTree Asset Management, Inc. The fund offers broad-based exposure to the European equity market while hedging out the effects of currency fluctuation.

Hence, it is best suited for investors who are bullish on European stocks but wish to insulate themselves from the impact of fluctuation of the exchange rate of EUR with respect to USD.

With $1.40 billion in AUM, HEDJ’s top holding is Stellantis N.V. (STLA), which has a 6.91% weighting in the fund. It is followed by  ASML Holding NV (ASML) at 4.41% and  Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) at 4.37%. The fund has 127 holdings, with 41.83% of its assets concentrated in the top 10 holdings.

HEDJ has an expense ratio of 0.58% and currently pays $1.58 annually as dividends. The fund’s payouts have grown at a 9.8% CAGR over the past five years. DXJ’s net inflow came in at $28.25 million over the past three months. It has a beta of 0.88.

iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Japan ETF (HEWJ)

As the name suggests, HEWJ is a currency-hedged exchange-traded fund that is managed by BlackRock Fund Advisors. The fund invests in the public equity markets of Japan through derivatives and through other funds in value stocks of companies operating across diversified sectors. Hence, it is best suited for investors who are bullish on Japanese stocks but bearish on JPY’s value vis-à-vis that of USD.

Almost all of HEWJ’s $213.9 million in AUM is allocated to iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ), which has a 99.95% weighting in the fund, with USD comprising the remaining assets of HEWJ.

EWJ’s top holding is  Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), which has a 5.16% weighting in the fund, followed by Sony Group Corporation (SONY) at 3.05% and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) at 2.59%. The well-diversified fund has 238 holdings, with 23.5% of its assets concentrated in the top 10 holdings.

HEWJ has an expense ratio of 0.50%. It currently pays $12.31 annually as dividends, and its payouts have grown at a 92.3% CAGR over the past five years. HEWJ’s net inflow came in at $45.01 million over the past month and $61.84 million over the past three months. It has a beta of 0.63.

3 Food Stocks to Buy Instead of Beyond Meat (BYND)

For the stock of Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND), seemingly on a one-way descent, its high of $186.83 on January 26, 2021, seems like a distant memory. The precipitous decline in the company’s stock price has reflected the alarming decline in its top line, which is more than the category average due to the inflation-led slowdown.

Founded in 2009 by its CEO Ethan Brown, BYND targeted meat eaters with plant-based products that replicate animal meat in look, feel, and taste. The company partnered with grocery and restaurant chains to increase the reach and visibility of its products.

In the interest of sustainability, which of the following options would you prefer?

  • Consuming regular quantities of plant-based meat
  • Consuming animal protein in moderation and on occasions

The hype surrounding the brand, further accentuated by big-name celebrity endorsements, helped the company’s stock make a strong market debut in 2019.

However, the company’s single-minded pursuit of growth and expansion through innovative offerings came in lieu of mounting debt and cost overruns.

Moreover, the company’s tendency to overpromise and underdeliver also didn’t help. As a result, the company had to switch its priority from growth at any cost to sustainable growth with healthy cash flows.

However, this attempt to scale down while moving forward has resulted in revenue decline, loss of market share to competitors, and a consequent slump in share price.

While BYND deals with its struggles and charts an arduous path to profitability, here are some alternative food stocks to consider.

Nestlé S.A. (NSRGY) is a global nutrition, health, and wellness company. The company’s segments include Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa (EMENA); Americas (AMS); Asia, Oceania, and sub-Saharan Africa (AOA); Nestle Waters; Nestle Nutrition; and Other Businesses.

NSRGY's offerings include powdered and liquid beverages; water; milk products, and ice cream; nutrition and health science; prepared dishes and cooking aids; confectionery; and PetCare.

In 2017 NSRGY acquired Sweet Earth, a Calif.-based vegan foods manufacturer. In 2019, Sweet Earth announced the launch of its new vegan burger product, Awesome Burger, and its ground beef component, Awesome Grounds. Both products are currently distributed to supermarkets, restaurants, and universities.

For the fiscal year 2022, NSRGY’s total reported sales increased by 8.4% to CHF 94.4 billion ($104.66 billion), with organic growth coming in at 8.3% year-over-year. The company’s underlying EPS increased by 8.4% to CHF 3.42 during the same period.

For the first three months of 2023, NSRGY’s total reported sales increased by 5.6% year-over-year to CHF 23.5 billion ($26.05 billion). Organic growth came in at 9.3%, while acquisitions had a net positive impact of 0.3%.

Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL)develops, processes, and distributes a range of branded food products globally. The company operates through three segments: Retail, Foodservice, and International.

Back in 2019, HRL forayed into products that reduced meat consumption with its “Fuse Burger,” made from ground turkey and rice.

Despite a challenging start to the fiscal year 2023, persistent impact from inflationary pressures, supply chain inefficiencies, and lower-than-expected sales volumes, HRL’s sales and operating income for the first quarter came in at $3 billion and $289 million, respectively. The company’s diluted EPS came in at $0.40.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN) is a protein-focused food company whose segments include: Beef; Pork; Chicken; and Prepared Foods.

In 2019, the company launched its line of meat-free and blended protein products called Raised & Rooted. After starting with nuggets made from a blend of pea protein powder and other plant ingredients, the brand diversified into blended burgers made with a combination of plant-based ingredients and Angus beef.

For the second quarter of fiscal year 2023, TSN’s sales demonstrated a marginal increase to $13.13 billion. On May 11, the company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.48 and $0.432 per share on its Class A and Class B common stock, respectively. The dividends would be paid out on September 15, 2023, to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 1, 2023.