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It's not just Kate Middleton and Prince William having a baby these days. There are a lot of new parents and parents-to-be out there. There are 4 million babies born in this country every year. Moms and dads may have the basic essentials covered, but financial planning for newborns is probably not a priority.
Wouldn't it be great to assemble portfolios for newborns that will grow alongside them? Wouldn't it be great if these stocks were also relevant to newborns and toddlers?
Let's single out a few companies that every parent should consider owning.
1. Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG )
The two best-known diaper brands are owned by two publicly traded companies. Kimberly-Clark makes Huggies, and Procter & Gamble is the consumer-goods conglomerate behind Pampers, the world's best-selling diaper brand.
Procter & Gamble also puts out the value-minded Luvs line of diapers, and it even gets in on the newborn laundry game with its Dreft detergent that's specially formulated to be gentle on a baby's skin.
2. Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT )
Babies have to eat, and mother's milk isn't always an option. There are plenty of big companies in the baby formula market. Mead Johnson Nutrition is a major player with Enfamil, but Abbott is no slouch with Similac. Abbott is also the company behind the electrolyte-restoring Pedialyte and the flavored drinks and shakes of PediaSure.
Abbott Labs pays out a quarterly dividend that adds up to a yield of 1.6%. Sure, that's a lot lower than Procter & Gamble at 3%, but this is the kind of pocket change that adds up over the years.
3. Bright Horizons Family Solutions (NYSE: BFAM )
Parents can't always be around. Having a stay-at-home parent isn't always feasible, and that's where day care comes in. Bright Horizons is the country's largest provider of employer-sponsored child care services, operating more than 750 child-care and early-education centers. It went public in January.
Bright Horizons doesn't offer a dividend the way that most of the other companies on this list do, but it does offer healthy double-digit percentage growth. The child-care giant saw revenue climb 10% higher last year, and it's targeting 10% to 13% in revenue growth this year.
4. Disney (NYSE: DIS )
Children need to be entertained, and that's where Disney shines. It all started with a mouse at the family-entertainment giant, and these days it's hard to find a child who hasn't come across Disney's kid-friendly animation, movies, or consumer products. More than a few of those children have experienced Disney's theme parks and cruise ships.
Disney should top $45 billion in revenue this fiscal year ending in September. That's a lot of Goofy money.
5. LeapFrog (NYSE: LF )
There are plenty of toymakers out there, but let's go with the one high-tech company that makes learning fun. LeapFrog is the leading player in electronic education with its lines of learning toys that feature plug-in cartridges and digital downloads, with various levels of difficulty that can adapt as a child's ability progresses.
LeapFrog also keeps parents in the loop with its online portal that updates Mom and Dad on how their kids are faring with the programs. Growth has slowed at LeapFrog in recent quarters, but this is a company that's beaten Wall Street's profit targets -- by double-digit percentage margins -- consistently over the past year. That's smart.
Three more stock picks
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