ETF a Filling Play on Global Growth

03/02/2011 12:52 pm EST

Focus: ETFS

Doug Fabian

Editor, Successful ETF Investing, ETF Trader's Edge, Weekly ETF Report, and ETFU.com

The top US food and beverage makers are enjoying an overseas boom—and you can now own all of them through a red-hot ETF, writes Doug Fabian in Making Money Alert.

I’ve found an ETF that lets you tap into the growing international demand for products from some of America’s best-known food and beverage companies.

The PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage Portfolio (NYSEArca: PBJ) is based on the Dynamic Food & Beverage Index. Now would be a good time to start keeping on eye on it for potential investment.

The fund normally will invest at least 90% of its total assets in common stocks that comprise the index. The underlying Intellidex features the stocks of 30 US food and beverage companies—firms that make, sell, or distribute food and beverages, agricultural products, and products related to the development of new food technologies.

The Intellidex evaluates companies based on a variety of investment-merit criteria, including fundamental growth, stock valuation, investment timelines, and risk.

You’ll surely recognize most or all of the fund’s Top 10 holdings. As of Feb. 22, those were

  • Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), 5.10%
  • General Mills (NYSE: GIS), 5.08%
  • Kroger (NYSE: KR), 4.88%
  • Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), 4.82%
  • Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), 4.82%
  • PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), 4.79%
  • H.J. Heinz (NYSE: HNZ), 4.78%
  • McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), 4.66%
  • Seaboard (NYSE: SEB), 3.14%
  • Panera Bread (Nasdaq: PNRA), 3.07%

To give you a sense of the strength of international sales for some of the top holdings in PBJ, look at McDonald’s. In January, McDonald’s announced that global comparable sales increased 5.3%. Broken down by region, US sales rose 3.1%, European sales climbed 7%, and sales in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa jumped 5.2%.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is not among the fund’s Top 10 holdings, but it is one of the positions in the fund, accounting for 2.54% of the ETF’s portfolio, as of Feb. 22. Dr Pepper reported fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 17 that showed heightened sales and pricing. Though its earnings fell 1.8%, tax- and debt-related charges accounted for the lack of bottom-line improvement.

Dr Pepper isn’t alone in boosting sales. In fact, beverage companies in general have seen increases in sales volume this year, largely from a sales jump in international markets. Unfortunately, US sales are lagging, which hurts companies such as Dr Pepper, which has a smaller international presence than other food and beverage companies.

PBJ Chart

As you can see from the chart above, PBJ made a huge run higher since September, before pulling back amid unrest in the Middle East. In just a little more than five months, PBJ’s share price has increased by double-digit percentages. And this should only improve as the consumer base in overseas markets continues to grow.

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