With Easter only a few weeks away, candy connoisseurs across America are preparing to find their hidden baskets and stuff themselves into a chocolate-covered coma.
Whether it's mom, dad, or a bunny, someone has to fill those baskets with treats. From an investor's point of view, this can be a very profitable holiday. So, why settle for a candy basket when you can buy in to a candy company? It seems you really can have your candy and trade it, too!
In terms of sweet-tooth candy stocks, four really stand out this Easter: The Hershey Company
First up is The Hershey Company. Hershey is known for its strong brand recognition and its historical significance to America.
"Our category offers attractive price points, and consumers know and trust Hershey's great brands, including Hershey's, Hershey's Kisses, Reese's, Kit Kat, and Twizzlers. Our products and our category will continue to provide the value and quality that consumers expect, and this action will position Hershey to achieve the opportunities that lie ahead," said David J. West, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Hershey ended trading Wednesday at $55.67 a share, a $0.35 increase on the day and near its 52-week high of $55.97.
A second sugary stock to sniff at is Tootsie Roll Industries. Launched in 1896 by the popularity of a single product -- an oblong piece of chewy, chocolate candy -- Tootsie Roll Industries has grown to become one of the country's largest candy companies, with a lineup that includes some of the world's most popular candy, chocolate, and bubble gum brands.
Tootsie's brands include some of the most familiar candy names: Tootsie Roll, Tootsie Pop, Charms Blow Pop, Mason Dots, Andes, Sugar Daddy, Charleston Chew, Dubble Bubble, Razzles, Caramel Apple Pop, Junior Mints, Cella's Chocolate-Covered Cherries, and Nik-L-Nip.
Tootsie ended trading Wednesday at $29.42 a share, a $0.42 increase on the day and near its 52-week high of $29.72.
Third on the list of delicious Easter stocks is Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is headquartered in Durango, Colo., and is an international franchiser of gourmet chocolate and confection stores and a manufacturer of an extensive line of premium chocolates and other confectionery products.
The factory typically produces approximately 300 chocolate candies and other confectionery products, using proprietary recipes developed primarily by its master candy maker. These products include many varieties of clusters, caramels, creams, meltaways, truffles and molded chocolates.
Individual stores prepare a variety of caramel and candy apples, fudge, chocolate items and confections in full view of the customer using traditional cooking utensils such as copper kettles on gas-fired stoves and marble slab cooling tables.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory closed trading Wednesday at $10.31 a share, off $0.06 a share, but still close to its 52-week high of $10.54.
Last, but not least, is snack food extraordinaire Snyder's-Lance. Snyder's-Lance headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, manufactures, markets and distributes snack foods throughout the United States and internationally. The company's products include pretzels, sandwich crackers, potato chips, cookies, tortilla chips, restaurant style crackers, nuts, and other snacks.
Snyder's-Lance has manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada. Products are sold under the Snyder's of Hanover, Lance, Krunchers!, Cape Cod, Jays, Grande, Tom's, Archway, O-Ke-Doke, and Stella D'oro brand names, along with a number of private label and third-party brands. Products are distributed widely through grocery and mass merchandisers, convenience stores, club stores, food service outlets, and other channels.
Snyder's-Lance closed Wednesday at $20.06 per share, off $0.20 from the previous day, and near its 52-week midpoint.