Nuts!

01/23/2004 12:00 am EST

Focus:

Louis Navellier

Editor, Blue Chip Growth and Emerging Growth

"The market is entering a more mature stage of its advance, and it will likely focus on stocks that can sustain predictable corporate profits," says Louis Navellier, editor of MPT Review. "An investor's best defense is an offense of fundamentally superior stocks." One of his favorites is John B. Sanfilippo & Son, a marketer of nuts.

"The most powerful stock in my Model Portfolios in recent months has been John B. Sanfilippo & Son (JBSS NASDAQ). Although the company has an unusual name, the stock is up over 230% since I first recommended it in June. The company sells nuts under many brand names, including the Fisher brand sold at Wal-Mart and most grocery stores.

"The company's business is booming because more people are eating nuts as snacks, due to research that shows nuts contain good unsaturated fats, compared with the bad saturated fats often found in chips and other snacks. Foods that are higher in unsaturated fats are known to help lower 'bad' cholesterol and raise 'good' cholesterol. Many dieticians also favor nuts because they contain protein and have fewer carbohydrates than chips.

"The price of peanuts plummeted after the 2002 Farm Bill lifted quotas on peanuts for domestic use. This helped boost John Sanfilippo's operating margins. While the company's sales have jumped over 30% over the last four quarters, its earnings have skyrocketed over 327%. The outlook for John Sanfilippo remains very favorable for the next few quarters due to continued strong demand from Wal-Mart and other major retailers as more health-conscious consumers turn to nuts as their favorite snack."

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