Ah, they've been with us since we were admonished not to chew gum in class: Juicy Fruit, Big Red, Doublemint, and Hubba Bubba. The source of this delinquency, Wrigley (NYSE:WWY), reported a 15% increase in third-quarter earnings, which met analyst expectations on Monday. Investors were unimpressed, as the stock slipped a bit in the day's trading.

Wrigley's No. 1 in gum, and it's no wonder. Checkout aisles are chock full of its brands, which include Eclipse, Freedent, Orbit, and sugar-free Extra; you've probably heard of them all. New flavors like Cinnamint and Bubblemint versions of Orbit were a sensation with gum chewers this quarter.

While the company regards former acquisition target Hershey (NYSE:HSY) and Cadbury Schweppes' (NYSE:CSG) Adams Confections (maker of Trident and Dentyne) as its main competitors, Wrigley's got 60% of gum sales in the U.S.

And despite the fact that the market treated Wrigley like it lost its flavor yesterday, there's a lot to like about a company with a portfolio of popular, well-known brands that have freshened breath and incited many a bubble-blowing contest over the years.

If anything, a high price tag may scare off investors. Perhaps the fact that earnings were boosted by European currency conversion might also give investors pause. Excluding the effects of the weak dollar, earnings rose just 7%, but in the big picture, there is always stability to consider.

Tom Jacobs' Are Value Investors Market Timers? explores why beginners should invest in high-grade, value-packed stocks, while Matt Richey explains why he likes stocks like Wrigley, which tend to do well regardless of fickle economic cycles in Investing in a Slow Growth Economy. (After all, even in tough times, packs of gum don't break the piggy bank, unlike some tech toys.)

Wrigley also announced another quarterly dividend of $0.22 per share payable in February. So it's one of those stocks that pays its investors in more ways than stock appreciation (the primary criteria for Motley Fool Income Investor subscribers).

For now investors may have burst the bubble. But signs indicate that Wrigley's is still going strong.

Alyce Lomax can chew gum and walk at the same time. She welcomes your feedback at alomax@fool.com.