Friday, September 14, 2012

Will the Soft Drink Ban in New York City Affect Beverage Companies?

Soft drinks, soda, soda pop, pop. No matter what you call it, and depending on what part of the country you live in you may call it something different, it all refers to the sugary flavored beverages that are popular around the world. Now the City of New York wants to control your consumption of these beverages.

The vote was 8 to 0 by the New York Board of Health, with one member abstaining, to ban the serving of soda beverages in cups greater than 16 ounces. Surprisingly, the member who abstained did so because he didn't think the ban was strong enough. The idea behind this ban, which goes into effect in March, was to reduce obesity.

Sometimes when governments ban something, it has the reverse effect and may actually increase consumption. Some soda companies experienced a stock price drop when the news came out even though the stock market was up, but maybe this has created a buying opportunity. Look at marijuana today and alcohol during the Depression. There are almost twenty stocks in the beverage soft drink industry, with half a dozen companies paying dividends in excess of 1%, according to

One of the highest yielding beverage companies is Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (DPS), which yields 3.0%. It trades at 15.8 times trailing earnings, and 13.7 times forward earnings. The company's products include Dr Pepper, Crush, Canada Dry, Sunkist soda, Schweppes, 7UP, A&W, RC Cola, Squirt, Sun Drop, Diet Rite, Welch's, and Country Time. Earnings for the latest quarter were up 3.5% on a 2.5% boost in revenues.

Of course, there is Coca Cola (KO), which has one of the most popular brands in the world. The stock trades at 20.2 times earnings, with a forward price to earnings ratio of 17.5. Earnings were flat for the latest quarter. The company, whih markets such products as Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, and Minute Maid, pays a yield of 2.7%.

For consumers who like to create their own beverages, SodaStream International Ltd. (SODA) can provide that option. The stock has a P/E ratio of 24.9, and 14.4 times forward earnings. It does not pay a dividend.

Can you guess which beverage stock pays a 3.1% yield? Check out the free list of beverage soft drink stocks at

Disclosure: Relatives of the author own KO.


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