Diversified consumer products company Fortune Brands
Investors are taking notice. All told, the stock is up 60% over the last 52 weeks and 4% today to an all-time high.
Impressively, growth was reported across a diversified stable of products. Home and hardware, where brands like Moen and Master Lock reign, led the way with a 32% jump in sales. Titleist and Cobra helped golf products to a 20% increase. For perspective on the latter, see Bill Mann's look at rival Callaway Golf
Sales of office products, meanwhile, were up just 8%; however, operating income for the division doubled. More importantly, the high-margin spirits and wine segment, home of Jim Beam, delivered double-digit sales and earnings growth. All in all it was a performance worthy of a fine meal and a glass of Fortune's Wild Horse wine (I don't make this stuff up).
Paired with this growth, investors get a solid 24% return on equity and an equally impressive 16% return on invested capital. Did I mention a 1.6% yield?
Fortune Brands' forecast for double-digit earnings growth puts the stock at around 18 times forward earnings. For such an odd bird, it's tough to say how that stacks up. Spirits companies Diageo
It would have been nice to have bought this a year ago. Still, for those looking for holding company diversity, strong brands, and a reasonable stock price, Fortune Brands is worth a look -- even after the impressive run-up.
Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own stock in any of the companies mentioned.