The stock market was not kind during the first half of this year to most US-traded beverage and retail companies tracked by BD. As shown in the table, Starbucks declined -35% amid company efforts to adjust to post-pandemic consumers who work from home or prefer cold beverages, which have bogged down cafes designed for hot drinks. Shares of Primo Water (formerly Cott) dropped -24% as investors waited to see if the home and office water delivery company could successfully transition to a growth company, having shed its low-margin case pack bottled water business in North America. Stocks posting gains in US markets included Coca-Cola, bottler Coke Femsa, and LaCroix maker National Beverage. Other than Starbucks and Primo Water, BD-tracked beverage stocks that lost value all declined less than did the S&P 500 index, however.
DOLLAR GENERAL, KROGER BUCK DOWN MARKET. Shares of discount retailer Dollar General and grocery chain Kroger each posted gains during the first half of 2022. Kroger benefitted from e-commerce growth, while Dollar General investors expected cash-strapped consumers to turn increasingly to the bargain chain. Target and Amazon posted the biggest share price declines among stocks tracked by BD. Target struggled to adjust to a post- stimulus consumer environment, after Covid relief programs ended, and stumbled over supply chain troubles. Amazon investors were spooked by the company’s profit margin declines amid record cost inflation and a pullback by consumers managing household budget pressures.
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