I've spent a good deal of time looking at Wrigley
This quarter, the company reported more of the same solid revenue and earnings growth, with sales up 9% and diluted earnings per share up 16%. In turn, the company's already rich shares are up another 4% today and are setting new 52-week highs. Its trailing P/E of 31 is also a bit rich compared with its confectionary competitors Hershey
There have been only a few opportunities in the last 20 years to snatch up shares on the cheap. While the company has been a solid performer over that time, the fact that reinvesting dividends is what has really driven the performance over the years is nothing new to an Income Investor. The company makes this easy to do by picking up most of the fees in its dividend reinvestment plan (Drip), although investors will need to pick up their first shares separately in order to start the plan.
Where Wrigley doesn't do such a good job for shareholders is in providing its investors with a complete picture of the company's performance in its earnings press releases. You'll find nothing but the income statement and a discussion of nothing but the income statement. Given the shareholder-friendly dividend reinvestment plan and the company's long-term performance, it's a bit curious that the balance sheet and cash flow statement are reserved for the 10-Q.
I'd like to see the company provide more data in its press releases, but it's not worth getting in a snit over. In the end, Wrigley has delivered the goods for decades and doesn't abuse its shareholders. That said, investors looking to start a position in Wrigley are likely to do better by holding off for a bit. The shares don't trade at an attractive price very often, but there have been solid opportunities as recently as 2002 and 2000, and you can rest assured there will be again.
For more long-lasting Foolish flavorful takes on Wrigley, check out: