7 Food and Staples Retailing Stocks Near 52-Week Highs

I love bargain stocks, especially when they're hitting 52-week lows. Still, it can be instructive to also look at stocks that are riding high. For one thing, they can make good sell candidates. More optimistically, we may be able to find a few companies that can continue their upward climbs.

In this series, I'll be searching industry-by-industry for stocks reaching 52-week highs. That way, we'll be able to make a few quick comparisons among semi-related companies.

There are 24 industry groups as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Food and staples retailing is one of them.

Below are the top seven companies in this space (by market cap) that are within spitting distance of their 52-week highs.

Company

Recent Price

52-week Low

52-week High

P/E Ratio (Trailing)

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  )

$53.95

$47.80

$56.27

13.8

Costco Wholesale (Nasdaq: COST  )

$64.11

$53.40

$65.46

21.9

Sysco (NYSE: SYY  )

$29.55

$25.90

$31.99

14.9

Kroger (NYSE: KR  )

$21.76

$19.10

$24.12

NM

Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (NYSE: CBD  )

$36.81

$28.44

$39.58

14.8

Whole Foods (Nasdaq: WFMI  )

$39.86

$24.90

$43.18

30.1

Casey's General Stores (Nasdaq: CASY  )

$41.38

$29.00

$44.68

19.3

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Yahoo! Finance.

What's interesting about this list is the overlap with the 52-week lows list for the same industry group. See that article here.

The first five on this list are also on that list. Why? Low volatility. It may be a slight hindrance as we try to separate high-flyers from bottom-dwellers, but this low volatility can be quite comforting in a volatile economy. A good strategy on stocks like these is to find a great business (like Wal-Mart and Costco) and try to buy in nearer the lows than the highs -- every additional percentage point counts. Wal-Mart has been particularly attractive recently.

If you are interested in reading more about any of these stocks, add them to My Watchlist to find all of our Foolish analysis on them.

Anand Chokkavelu owns shares of Whole Foods. He posts his favorite articles on his Twitter feed.

Costco Wholesale, Sysco, and Wal-Mart Stores are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Costco Wholesale and Whole Foods Market are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Sysco is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. The Fool owns shares of Costco Wholesale, Sysco, and Wal-Mart Stores. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On October 27, 2010, at 5:50 PM, madmilker wrote:

    Duh! where have you been in the past eleven years....

    On January 01, 2000, Wal*Mart was at $69.12 and that was the first day H Lee went into that office surrounded by lawn chairs....and by the end of his very first month the share price closed at $54....so just maybe you need to think about where a new high in those stocks should really be at today....with inflation from January 01, 2000 until today....Wal*Mart would have to be trading at $86 just be be at even money.

    Sometimes a low and high....ain't really a low and high...but just a figure on paper that only is there for the ones that think with a pencil and not a calculator.

    on Wal*Mart's China web page!

    "Wal-Mart China persists in local procurement which provides more job opportunities, supports local manufacture industry and promotes local economy. So far, 95% of merchandising sold at Wal-Mart China store are local products by which Wal-Mart has established business relations with nearly 20,000 suppliers. At Wal-Mart, we treat suppliers as partners and would like to develop with them. In 2008 Wal-Mart won the Supplier Satisfaction published by Business Information of Shanghai for five consecutive years."

    5% foreign in China...

    That doesn't support American exports and American jobs.

    Remember what Lance Winslow wrote in that article "The Flow of Trade in a Global Economy"....

    "Now let us look at Wal-Mart again; you buy a product there, 6% goes to the employees, 10-18% is profit to the company, 25% goes to other costs and 50% goes to re-stock or the cost of goods sold. Of the 50% about 20-25% goes to China, a guess, but you get the point. Now then, how long will it take at 433 Billion dollars at year for China to have all of our money, leaving no money flow for us to circulate? At a 17 Trillion dollar economy less than 40-years minus the 1/6 they buy from us. Some say that if we keep putting money into our economy, it would take forever, but if we do not then eventually all the money flow will go. If China buys our debt then eventually they own us, no need to worry about a war, they are buying America, due in part to our own mismanaged trade, so whose fault is that? Not necessarily China, as they are doing what's in the best interests, and we should make sure that trade is not only free, but fair too."

    Think for a moment about George Washington....yes the man that is on the US dollar bill....How do you think George feels being sent overseas in return for all that foreign so-call cheap items and being left in a foreign bank because the American worker doesn't make anything for the foreigners to buy. Cheap items didn't make this great union of 50 states the greatest place on the face of this Earth.....the American worker (union and non-union) did.

    You can't have a strong country without having a strong currency and you can't have a strong currency unless you keep it floating around within your 50 states. This is why the store with the star in the name puts 95% China made items in their stores in China....to keep their "yuan" in their country helping the nice people there. And with only 5% left for all the other 182 country's that make stuff including the United States of America....that doesn't produce very many jobs outside of China.

    Being an old person myself and knowing how it was back in the 40's, 50's and 60's in this union of 50 states....I look at George each time I pull him out of my billfold and make a promise to send him out for items made in America so after floating around helping each hand he touches just maybe one day he will shake mine again.

    Fifteen cargo ships pollute as much as 760 million automobiles.

    $9 billion a year in hidden taxes to all American taxpayers to clean fish from ballast tanks of ships...

    think about all those facts the next time you pull that George out of your pocket....

    Retail makes NOTHING...

    Governments only make MORE DEBT...

    It's time for less of those two and for America to get back to what it does best....MAKE STUFF..

    cause George Washington on that dollar can't help anyone in the United States of America if he is being held in a foreign hand.

    Made In America is the only way out of this mess cause foreign made put US here.

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