COMPANY DESCRIPTION

TreeHouse Foods is a food manufacturer servicing primarily the retail grocery and foodservice distribution channels. Co. has three business segments: North American Retail Grocery, which sells branded and private label products including non-dairy powdered creamers; condensed and ready to serve soups, broths and gravies to customers in the U.S. and Canada; Food Away From Home, which sells non-dairy powdered creamers; sweeteners; pickles and related products; Mexican sauces; refrigerated dressings; aseptic products and hot cereals to foodservice customers; as well as Industrial and Export, which includes Co.'s co-pack business and non-dairy powdered creamer sales to industrial customers.

 

ECONOMIC MOAT

In our opinion Treehouse Foods does not have an economic moat. The company relies on excellent execution for success.

 

OUTLOOK

TreeHouse Foods concluded 2014 on a disappointing note. Losses from a large customer destocking, slow growth from Flagstone brand and negative impact from currency. The company has lowered its guidance for 2015. The company is still expecting sales growth of 23% to 24% this year. Sales from the recently acquired Protenergy and Flagstone businesses will be responsible for most of the gain. The recent selloff creates an opportunity for entry. With consolidation in the food group (Kraft +Heinz) TreeHouse may appeal to one of the larger food processors.

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STRENGTHS

  • Extensive product portfolio

  • Strong customer base

  • Inorganic growth 

WEAKNESSES

  • Lack of scale compared to peers

  • Excessive dependence on the US market

  • Unfunded employee post-retirement benefits 

THREATS

  • Intense competition

  • Strict regulations

  • Increased minimum wages in the US 

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Growing private label products market in the US

  • Positive outlook for the US foodservice industry

  • Positive outlook for frozen food products in the US 

The above report is for information purposes only, and is not a solicitation or offer to buy or sell any securities. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Neither diversification nor asset allocation ensures a profit or guarantees against loss. Before investing, investors should consider their risk tolerance, investment objectives, time horizon, available capital, and charges and expenses.  

 

The information presented in this report has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guranteed. All material is subject to change without notice. The views and opinions expressed are those of Focused Stock Research and/or WALT ST Investment Management, Ltd. and in no way reflect the views and opinions of Investment Consultants nor their Broker Dealers.

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