Hain Celestial: Organic Gains

05/20/2015 7:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Timothy Lutts

Publisher, Cabot Heritage Corporation

Although our latest featured recommendation is best known for its teas, 95% of revenue comes from a wide variety of natural and organic foods, snacks, beverages, and skin care products, explains growth stock expert Timothy Lutts, editor of Cabot Stock of the Month.

Hain Celestial (HAIN) has grown revenues at rates ranging from 24% to 26% over the past three years, while growing earnings at rates ranging from 25% to 37%.

I expect similar growth in the years ahead, as the organic food market is growing at 14% annual rate and Hain Celestial, as the leading company in the industry, has a proven process of acquiring young brands and using its size to expand distribution rapidly.

Plus, it’s possible that the organic food market might grow even faster, as consumers increasingly choose organic and natural food over the alternatives.

Also, market opportunity in the rest of the world is still huge, as 52% of Hain’s revenues today come from the US, 28% come from the UK, and 20% come from the rest of world.

With a price earnings ratio of 35, the stock, like the market, is a little high now, from a valuation perspective. But the company is extremely well run, with after-tax profit margins now reaching 8% (high for a food company).

Short-term, I’m highlighting HAIN  because the stock’s recent correction, from $66 down to below $60, reduces short-term risk. The trigger for the sell-off was a downgrade from an analyst.

But I think this 10% haircut offers a nice buying opportunity. We’re still of the mind that HAIN has a very long runway of growth in the organic food space and the stock’s pullback looks like a reasonable entry for long-term growth investors.

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