Holiday Spending: St. Patrick's Day's Big Bill

St. Patty's Day is fast approaching. How will you be celebrating? And what are you willing to spend to get the most out of the greenest day of the year?

Bloomberg reports that Americans annually spend an average of $38.94 on St. Patrick's Day, or about $4.5 billion, according to research by BigInsight, which tracks consumer spending.

That money is collectively put toward a host of celebratory gear like "Kiss Me I'm Irish" pins, shirts, green top hats, shamrock stickers, and of course, the bar tab.

"Beer brewers this year will earn about $245 million, or 1 percent of annual U.S. beer sales, from sales made on St. Patrick's Day, according to IbisWorld." But that's hardly all. More than 1 million North Americans head to Ireland every year, spending about $955.3 million. That's money toward airlines, hotels, and others within the tourism industry.

Parade funds
There are also parades. Notably, Boston's annual Patrick's Day parade is a spectacle in itself. The four-hour parade celebration attracts visitors from across the globe. According to the Parade Committee's 501(c)(3) filing, the 2010 parade budget exceeded $440,000.

Similarly, New York City's annual Patrick's Day parade, which attracts about 1.5 million viewers along 5th avenue and 200,000 marchers, is an expensive celebration. Bloomberg reports, "the Parade Committee spent about $530,000, according to its tax-exempt nonprofit 501(c)(3) filing. The impact on New York: $250 million in tax revenue." New York also paints a green line down Fifth Avenue, a nice touch that costs about $9,000.

Other parades, like in Savannah, Ga. and Chicago, Il., expect a large turnout and a large bill. "Kevin Sherlack, coordinator for the Chicago downtown parade, expects costs for security and sanitation to be about $10,000," as well as "$40,000 to cover trash cleanup, street sweeping and the installation and removal of barricades." Chicago doesn't stop there: "Chicago dyes its river an emerald green, pouring about 40 pounds of an environmentally friendly fluorescent dye into the river. The cost, which the WXRT radio station pays, comes to about $1,500."

Business section: Investing ideas
In all, the St. Patrick's Day bill is still smaller compared to other major holidays. Valentines Day claims $17.6 billion from consumers, and Halloween brings in $6.9 billion. But it is still a substantial burst of consumer spending.

As St. Patrick's Day is an annual tradition, not a surprise event, the holiday is assumed to be already be priced into the stocks that benefit from celebrations. Still, here's a list of stocks the Kapitall team has put together to highlight those seasonal benefits. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD  ) : Engages in brewing and selling beer in North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Beer consumption will be high

2. Diageo (NYSE: DEO  ) : Engages in producing, distilling, brewing, bottling, packaging, distributing, developing, and marketing spirits, beer, and wine products. Parent company of Guinness beer, as well as other popular wines and sprits

3. Ryanair Holdings: Provides passenger airline services in Ireland, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, and Morocco. Ryanair airlines has its head office in Dublin, and offers several direct several flights to the city

4. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) : Designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. As Raghav Ravichander of Benzinga.com puts it, "Apple has decided to cleverly release its latest model of the touch screen tablet PC known as IPad 3 on March 16, 2012. Historically, the IPad has sold about 400-600 thousand units during the first week of its release; therefore, we can expect something along those lines this time as well." http://www.benzinga.com/news/12/03/2420344/5-stocks-for-st-pattys-day (Benzinga)

5. Molson Coors Brewing Company: Distributes beer brands. Beer consumption will be high

6. Boston Beer (NYSE: SAM  ) : Produces and sells alcohol beverages primarily in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, the Caribbean, the Pacific Rim, and Mexico. Beer consumption will be high

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.


Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Boston Beer. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Boston Beer, Diageo, Apple, and Molson Coors Brewing. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. 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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