Stocks to buy

When it comes to building a strong portfolio, it’s wise to include some of the best long-term consumer stocks. In fact, there are two key reasons for this. One, these types of stocks typically pay out regular dividends. Many of them offer above-average yields and/or have a long track record of dividend growth. Returns from dividends may at first glance appear modest (low-to-mid single-digits), but these can really add up, and add tremendously to long-term total returns.

Two, thanks to the more inflation and recession-resistant nature of high-quality consumer stocks, equities in this category typically experience consistent earnings growth over time. In turn, this translates into consistent price appreciation, as they rise in value in line with increasing earnings. So, what are some of the best long-term consumer stocks to buy today? Consider these seven. All of them are attractively-priced.

BTI British American Tobacco $32.60
COKE Coca-Cola Consolidated $673.04
DG Dollar General $205.10
KR Kroger $47.31
KVUE Kenvue $26.30
PM Philip Morris $90.84
TAP Molson Coors $60.64

British American Tobacco (BTI)

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As its name suggests, British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI) is a tobacco company operating in both the U.K. and the U.S. Despite this global diversification, BTI’s high exposure to the declining U.S. cigarette market (where it sells brands like Camel and Newport) has led the market to price BTI stock at a heavily-discounted 9 times earnings. Still, it’s possible this investor pessimism has gone too far.

Like one of its main peers (which I will discuss further below), the company has made a big move into non-cigarette tobacco and nicotine products. With this, BTI may be able to stay consistently profitable, and more importantly, to sustain its high dividend (forward yield of 8.23%). Maintaining this high yield will make it one of the best buy and hold consumer stocks.

Coca-Cola Consolidated (COKE)

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Coca-Cola Consolidated (NASDAQ:COKE) is America’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) products. COKE lacks the blue-chip cache (not to mention the Warren Buffett seal of approval) that KO stock enjoys.

However, long-term COKEstock investors have had the benefit of owning one of the best long-term consumer stocks in terms of performance. While KO stock is up just 50.7% since May 2013, COKE has increased in value by 1,032.4% during this time frame. Admittedly, it may prove difficult for this stock to make a similar move higher between now and 2033.

Still, trading for only 13.9 times earnings, shares remain more reasonably-priced than KO, which trades for 26.4 times earnings. Earnings growth and further multiple expansion could pave the way for continued appreciation. In addition, the stock pays out a modest dividend (0.3%) that could provide an additional slight boost to total returns.

Dollar General (DG)

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When inflation began to spike in 2021, many investors looked to Dollar General (NYSE:DG) as one way to play the trend. This provided shares, already up thanks to the unexpected tailwinds for the retail industry due to the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020, an additional lift through 2022.

But so far in 2023, market enthusiasm for DG stock has dipped. Why? Even as high inflation resulted in higher sales for Dollar General and its peers, this has been outweighed by the impact of this same trend on profit margins.

That said, the current sentiment for DG today may work to your advantage, as it trades for only 18.2 times forward earnings. As inflation eases, Dollar General’s earnings are expected to bounce back starting this fiscal year. The discount retailer is also investing heavily to gain market share. All of this could result in continued growth for this consumer stock.

Kroger (KR)

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There’s been a major uncertainty hanging over shares in grocery store operator Kroger (NYSE:KR). That would be the company’s planned merger with peer Albertson’s (NYSE:ACI).

Investors and commentators believe that this merger would be beneficial to future returns for KR stock. Yet given the backlash regarding the deal from consumer groups and politicians, admittedly it is unclear whether this transaction will get the regulatory go-ahead. Despite the controversy, though, as analysts at Bernstein recently argued, this transaction is still likely to close.

This deal could lead to strong returns ahead for KR shares. This merger is expected to be accretive to earnings within the first year, with further earnings boosts expected from planned cost savings. Add to this catalyst KR’s low valuation (10.5 times forward earnings) and respective dividend yield (2.2%), and it’s clear why it’s one of the best long-term consumer stocks.

Kenvue (KVUE)

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Kenvue (NYSE:KVUE) isn’t a household name, but its current parent company, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), certainly is, as are the company’s portfolio of consumer health brands, which include Tylenol, Listerine, and many others.

KVUE stock just recently became publicly-traded, with JNJ’s sale of a 10% stake in the company via an IPO. JNJ plans to eventually distribute its 90% stake to investors, through a tax-free spinoff. If volatility ahead of the spinoff pushes Kenvue down to its IPO price ($22 per share), you may want to buy it.

While not yet paying out a dividend, as analysts at Morningstar have pointed out, the company plans to initiate a dividend, which at the IPO price would give shares a 3.7% annualized yield. KVUE also trades at a discount to peers at this price level. All of this could in time make it one of the high-performing consumer stocks.

Philip Morris (PM)

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In past coverage of Philip Morris (NYSE:PM), I talked about this tobacco company’s appeal as a high-yield dividend play, but PM’s 5.6% forward dividend is only one aspect to its overall appeal.

That is, PM stock is also poised to continue steadily increasing its earnings in the coming years. Yes, like I mentioned above, peers with BTI are also moving into higher-growth areas of the tobacco industry (namely, non-cigarette tobacco and nicotine products). However, Philip Morris International has arguably made the greatest progress in this area.

Largely, due to its successful launch of the IQOS heated tobacco product. PM’s purchase of established smokeless tobacco/nicotine products maker Swedish Match also helps to make it a stronger growth contender than other names in the space. While pricier than BTI, the growth aspect to the PM “story” makes it also one of the best long-term consumer stocks.

Molson Coors (TAP)

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Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP) has been making headlines recently, due to the controversy surrounding a highly-publicized marketing decision by rival Anheuser-Busch Inbev (NYSE:BUD). This controversy has resulted in increased sales for this brewer’s light beer products such as Miller Lite and Coors Light.

Investors initially bid up TAP stock due to this news, but shares have since pulled back, as the market no longer expects this tailwind to last. However, others beg to differ. Last week, analysts at Hedgeye argued that Molson Coors could hold onto these recent long-term market share gains.

This could lead to greater-than-expected earnings. In turn, this of course points to further gains ahead for TAP shares. This unexpected catalyst, plus a low valuation (14 times forward earnings) and a moderate dividend yield (2.56%), make TAP a strong contender to be one of the great buy and hold consumer stocks going forward.

On the date of publication, Thomas Niel did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Thomas Niel, contributor for InvestorPlace.com, has been writing single-stock analysis for web-based publications since 2016.

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