The Motley Fool's health-care show�Market Checkup�focuses this week on cholesterol, one of America's most notable health-care concerns.
According to the CDC, approximately 71 million Americans have high cholesterol, and less than 50% actually get treated. High levels of LDL cholesterol, commonly known as "bad" cholesterol, can lead to dangerous health problems, including heart disease and high blood pressure. In this week's show, health-care analysts David Williamson and Max Macaluso discuss the leading cholesterol drugs on the market and in development, but they kick off their discussion with a look back at one of the strangest battles in history: FDA vs. Cheerios.
In 2009, the FDA sent a letter to General Mills (NYSE: GIS ) warning that marketing Cheerios as a product that could lower cholesterol meant that the popular breakfast cereal would have to go through the drug approval process. While investors weren't worried by the news (looking at historical prices, shares of General Mills were about flat after the warning letter became public), and the company was able to sort out this problem, it certainly helped the FDA distinguish between foods and drugs that have a proven therapeutic benefit.�
Top Construction Material Companies To Watch In Right Now: Terra Nitrogen Company L.P.(TNH)
Terra Nitrogen Company, L.P. engages in the production and sale of nitrogen fertilizer products for agricultural and industrial applications. The company primarily offers anhydrous ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate solutions. Its customers for fertilizer products include dealers, national farm retail chains, and distributors. Terra Nitrogen GP Inc. serves as the general partner of the company. Terra Nitrogen Company, L.P. was founded in 1991 and is based in Deerfield, Illinois. Terra Nitrogen Company, LP. operates as a subsidiary of Terra Industries Inc.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Alex Planes]
Investors love stocks that consistently beat the Street without getting ahead of their fundamentals and risking a meltdown. The best stocks offer sustainable market-beating gains, with robust and improving financial metrics that support strong price growth. Does Terra Nitrogen (NYSE: TNH ) fit the bill? Let's look at what its recent results tell us about its potential for future gains.
- [By Sean Williams]
Whom it competes against
There is certainly no shortage of competitors in the fertilizer industry. Rentech is actually somewhat of a small player at a $1.4 billion valuation compared with CVR Partners (NYSE: UAN ) at $1.9 billion, Terra Nitrogen (NYSE: TNH ) at $3.8 billion, and Agrium (NYSE: AGU ) at $13.5 billion.
- [By Robert Rapier]
5. Terra Nitrogen CompanyThe nitrogen fertilizer MLPs were easily the worst performing MLP category, with Terra Nitrogen Company (NYSE: TNH) rounding out the five worst performers of 2013 — down 33 percent for the year. Based on the past year’s distributions, the annualized yield is 11.5 percent but, as with CVR Partners, this yield is expected to decline because of continuing weakness in the nitrogen fertilizer market.
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- [By Dan Caplinger]
Much of the pessimism about PotashCorp has come from two factors. Slower growth in key fertilizer markets China and India have held back the potash producer, as prices for the commodity have fallen from past levels. Meanwhile, lower prices for natural gas have encouraged greater use of nitrogen-based fertilizers, with Terra Nitrogen (NYSE: TNH ) and a host of other nitrogen-fertilizer producers benefiting at the expense of PotashCorp and other potash producers.
Top Food Companies To Watch For 2014: Lifeway Foods Inc (LWAY)
Lifeway Foods, Inc., (Lifeway), incorporated on May 19, 1986, is engaged in the manufacturing of probiotic, cultured, functional dairy and non-dairy health food products. The Company�� primary products are kefir sold under the name Lifeway Kefir and Helios Nutrition Organic Kefir; a line of yogurts sold under the Lassi brand, and BasicsPlus, a dairy based immune-supporting dietary supplement beverage. In addition to the drinkable products, Lifeway manufactures Lifeway Farmer Cheese, a line of various farmer cheeses, a line of gourmet cream cheeses, and Sweet Kiss, a fruit sugar-flavored spreadable cheese similar in consistency to cream cheese. The Company also manufactures and markets a vegetable-based seasoning under the Golden Zesta brand. Lifeway manufactures all of its products at Company-owned facilities and distributes its products throughout the United States.
Lifeway�� primary product, kefir is a fermented dairy product. Lifeway�� Kefir is a drinkable product intended for use as a breakfast meal or a snack, or as a base for lower-calorie dressings, dips, soups or sauces. Kefir is also used as the base of Lifeway�� plain farmer�� cheese, a cheese made without salt, sugar or animal rennet. In addition, kefir is the primary ingredient of Lifeway�� Sweet Kiss product, a fruit sugar-flavored, cream cheese-like spread which is intended to be used as a dessert spread or frosting. Lifeway�� Kefir is a drinkable kefir product manufactured in 10 regular and low-fat varieties, including plain, pomegranate, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, cherry, peach, banana-strawberry, cappuccino and vanilla, and sold in 32-ounce containers and 8-ounce single serving containers featuring color-coded caps and labels describing nutritional information. The kefir product is marketed under the name Lifeway�� Kefir and is sold by retailers from their dairy sections.
Lifeway�� Organic Kefir meets the organic standards and specifications of the United States Department of Agricul! ture for organic products and is manufactured in five flavors: plain, wildberry, raspberry, strawberry and peach. Lifeway�� Organic Kefir is sweetened with organic cane juice. Lifeway�� Slim6 is a line of low-fat kefir beverages with no added sugar designed for consumers who follow low-carbohydrate diets. Lifeway�� Slim6 has only eight grams of carbohydrates and 2.5 grams of fat per 8-ounce serving and is available in five flavors: strawberries n��cream, mixed berry, tropical fruit, strawberry-banana and an original, unsweetened version. ProBugs is a kefir product that contains 10 live and active kefir cultures. Aimed at children ages 2-9, ProBugscomes in three flavors, Sublime Slime Lime, Orange Creamy Crawler and Goo-Berry Pie and is packaged in no spill spout pouches designed as cartoon bug characters Peter, Polly and Penelope ProBug.
Farmer Cheese is based on a cultured soft cheese and is intended to be used in a variety of recipes as a low fat, low-cholesterol, low-calorie substitute for cream cheese or ricotta, and is available in various styles. Sweet Kiss is a sweet cheese probiotic spread available in five flavors: plain, plain with raisins, apple, peach and chocolate. Elita and Bambino cheeses are low-fat, low-cholesterol kefir based cheese spreads, which are marketed as an alternative to cream cheese. Krestyanski Tworog is a European-style kefir-based soft style cheese which can also be used in a variety of recipes, eaten with a spoon, used as a cheese spread, or substituted in recipes for cream cheese, ricotta cheese or cottage cheese and is marketed to consumers of various Eastern European ethnicities.
Basics Plus is a kefir-based beverage product designed to support gastrointestinal functions and the immune system. Kefir Starter is a powdered form of kefir that is sold in envelope packets and allows a consumer to make his or her own drinkable kefir at home by adding milk. Lifeway continues to develop sales of this product through the Internet. Lassi is a c! ultured d! rink inspired by the traditions of India and is sold in 8-ounce containers in two flavors, strawberry and mango. Golden Zesta is a vegetable-based seasoning, which, because of its low sodium content, may also be used as a salt substitute and is marketed to delicatessens, gourmet shops and ethnic grocers. Helios Nutrition Organic Kefir is a kefir product made from organic milk and manufactured with a blend of active cultures. It is sold in 8 and 32 ounce bottles and made in five flavors: peach, plain, strawberry, vanilla and raspberry.
The Company competes with Danone Foods, Inc.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lisa Levin]
Dairy Products: This industry tumbled 2.12% by 10:50 am. The worst stock within the industry was Lifeway Foods (NASDAQ: LWAY), which fell 0.9%. Lifeway Foods' PEG ratio is 3.56.
- [By Rich Smith]
In possibly related news, shares of a Danone sometimes-partner, sometimes-rival in the drinkable yogurt market, kefir-maker Lifeway Foods (NASDAQ: LWAY ) , is seeing its shares come under pressure Tuesday. Specializing in grocery sales, Lifeway also operates a chain of yogurt-inspired restaurants of its own known as "Starfruit Cafe." As Danone shares gain 0.5%, Lifeway is down 4.5%.
- [By Rich Smith]
Shares of Lifeway Foods (NASDAQ: LWAY ) are on a tear, up nearly a full $1 (or 8.3%) since reporting earnings last week. But is the price spike justified? Let's find out.
Top Food Companies To Watch For 2014: Paradise Inc (PARF)
Paradise, Inc., incorporated in September, 1961, conducts operations through two business segments: Candied Fruit and Molded Plastics. The Candied Fruit segment is engaged in the production of candied fruit, a basic fruitcake ingredient, sold to manufacturing bakers, institutional users, and retailers for use in home baking. Based on market conditions, it is also engaged in the processing of frozen strawberry products for sale to commercial and institutional users, such as preservers, dairies and drink manufacturers. The Molded Plastics segment is engaged in the production of plastic containers for the Company�� products and other molded plastics for sale to unaffiliated customers.
During the year ended December 31, 2011, in terms of candied fruit sales, approximately 20% were shipped to manufacturing bakers and other institutional users, with the balance being sold through supermarkets and other retail outlets for ultimate use in the home. Sales to retail outlets are usually generated through registered food brokers operating in exclusively franchised territories.
The Company�� trademarks Paradise, Dixie, Mor-Fruit and Sun-Ripe are registered with the appropriate Federal and State authorities for use on the Company�� candied fruit. During 2011, the Company derived approximately 15% of its consolidated net sales from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Geoff Gannon]
What is the advantage of being a huge company? There are some. For one, we know the business is ��or was ��growable. A lot of small companies stay small because their circle of competence is small. Paradise (PARF) is an over the counter stock. It has a market cap of $10 million. And it dominates the candied fruit market in the U.S. Why isn�� the company bigger?
Top Food Companies To Watch For 2014: DC Brands International Inc (HRDN)
DC Brands International, Inc. (DC Brands), incorporated on April 29, 1998, is engaged in the manufacture, marketing and distribution of health-related products that utilize natural botanicals, vitamins, minerals and supplements. As of December 31, 2009, the Company focused on the sale of products under its H.A.R.D. Nutrition label. As of December 31, 2009, the Company had two distinct types of products sold under its H.A.R.D. Nutrition logo, such as Functional Water Systems and nutritional supplements. Its H.A.R.D. Nutrition Functional Water System provides consumers with the combination of nutraceutical supplements with a functional beverage. All of the products sold under its H.A.R.D. Nutrition Functional Water System are sold in a bottle, which combines in one container water, which is lightly flavored, with vitamins stored in its licensed flip top compartment on the top of the bottle. DC Brands also sells other products included in its H.A.R.D. Nutrition label, such as herbal supplements, which are made from a mixture of herbs. The Company�� products are sold to consumers, primarily through retail outlet distribution. The Company�� wholly owned subsidiaries are DC Nutrition, Inc. and DC Brands, LLC. As of December 31, 2009, DC Brands, LLC was inactive. In June 2013, DC Brands International Inc acquired an undisclosed minority stake in Village Tea Co Distribution Inc.
Functional Water Systems
DC Brands��Functional Water Systems are a combination of a functional beverage and a nutraceutical. The Company provides consumers with a combination of a beverage and a nutraceutical supplement all in one convenient bottle. As of December 31, 2009, the Company manufactured nine water systems. Each system includes supplements, vitamins and minerals that are enclosed in its licensed cap, which is attached to its bottle filled with a lightly flavored water specially formulated to act as a catalyst for the enclosed supplements. The Functional Water Systems have a shelf life of one! year. The Company conducts periodic tests of the color, flavor and desired results of its products in house. Each product contains a label with a date stamp that specifies the shelf life.
The Company�� nine different systems are The Daily Basics, The Fat Fighter, The Get Over It-Feel Better Now, Whacked Energy, Wide Awake, Win, Fix It, Cleanse +, and Rebuild and Recover. The Daily Basics is a wellness product that includes vitamins and supplements. The Fat Fighter falls under the diet and weight loss category. The Get Over It-Feel Better Now is a wellness product that is a blend of vitamins, herbs and minerals. As of December 31, 2009, The Get Over It-Feel Better Now water system was sold in certain hotels in Las Vegas on a trial basis and was stocked in the guest rooms in the hotels and was marketed to combat hangovers. Whacked Energy and Wide Awake are part of its energy line. Win is geared towards athletes for use when conducting fitness training. Fix It is a combination of herbs and supplements. Cleanse+ is a 12 days total body cleansing system intended to be taken once every 90 days and Rebuild and Recover is a combination of products focused towards the serious athlete. All of its products contain ingredients that are focused to provide health-related benefits. The H.A.R.D. Nutrition Functional Water Systems are primarily sold in retail establishments.
The Company�� H.A.R.D. Nutrition Supplements are sold primarily though its wholly owned subsidiary DC Nutrition, Inc. and are focused at athletes and improving performance. As of December 31, 2009, the Company had approximately 300 products in this product line, which it divided into the four categories: performance and strength supplements, wellness products, energy supplements, and the weight loss and diet products.
The Company competes with Coca-Cola and Pepsi.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap stocks COREwafer Industries Inc (OTCMKTS: WAFR), DC Brands International, Inc (OTCMKTS: HRDN) and PV Enterprises International (OTCMKTS: PVEC) surged 82.86%, 33.33% and 25%, respectively, last Friday ��meaning investors or traders got a nice Christmas present. Moreover, these small cap stocks have been the subject of minimal paid stock promotions. But will these three small cap stocks continue to deliver a good performance into and after the holidays? Here is a quick reality check before you get overly excited:
Top Food Companies To Watch For 2014: Sao Martinho SA (SMTO3)Sao Martinho SA is a Brazil-based holding company primarily engaged in the sale and production of sugar and ethanol. It is engaged in the cultivation of sugar cane and production and sale of sugar, ethanol and other sugar cane products. The Company is also involved in the cogeneration of electricity and cattle breeding, as well as the provision of agricultural products. The Company produces hydrous ethanol, anhydrous ethanol, industrial ethanol, ribonucleic acid, fuel oil, yeast, sugar and sugarcane biogases, used to generate steam and electricity. Through its subsidiary Omtek, the Company produces ribonucleic acid (RNA) sodium salt, which is used in the pharmaceutical and food industries as a raw material and flavor enhancer. The Company operates through a numerous subsidiaries, including Vale do Mogi Empreendimentos Imobiliarios SA, SMA Industria Quimica SA, Usina Santa Luiza SA, Sao Martinho Energia SA and Santa Cruz SA, among others. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ney Hayashi]
Sugar and ethanol producer Sao Martinho SA (SMTO3) fell 1.8 percent to 25.53 reais after posting a quarterly profit that missed analysts��estimates.