What: B&G Foods (NYSE:BGS) continued its breakout year last month, climbing 12% on momentum from its late April earnings report as investors continue to favor seemingly safe dividend stocks. BGS stock yields 3.5% at current prices. As the chart below shows, the stock gained steadily over the course of the month.
So what: Though there was no particular news item pushing B&G stock higher, the food-maker has been a big winner this year thanks to better-than-expected results, a smart acquisition strategy, and a strong dividend. In a volatile market with concerns about Brexit and other issues, investors have flocked to safe dividend plays like B&G, which owns a diverse range of brands including Ortega, Polaner, and Cream of Wheat.
Late last year it acquired Green Giant, a move that helped it deliver a blowout first-quarter earnings report and is expected to drive EPS up 40% this year. In June, the stock's growth tracked alongside that of General Mills, which jumped 7% on June 30 on a strong earnings report, pushing up B&G's stock 4% in the same session, its best day of the month.
Now what: B&G is now trading at an all-time high as investor optimism concerning the Green Giant integration increases. The stock is up 36% this year. But this is ultimately a slow growth company, and a repeat performance in the second half of the year would not be justified without dramatically improved results. As the stock has moved higher, its P/E ratio has become inflated, and the dividend yield has fallen to 3.5%. With more volatility in the market expected, however, B&G is likely to remain a popular choice for investors looking for safety.
We'll learn more when the company reports second-quarter earnings later this month. Analysts are expecting earnings of $0.46 a share on $316.6 million in sales.