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    Posted April 17, 2014 by
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    Food for Thought: Some Profitable Food Stocks New Yorkers Love

    Choosing a food joint to dine in or where to place your portfolio, is a bit of a challenge in New York. The Big Apple is in itself a culinary capital, with limitless options to choose from for foodies and investors. Found below are our NYC food stock picks, whether you’re looking for a place to fill up your tank, or a profitable long-term investment to add to your portfolio.

    When in New York, you should not miss trying a hot bowl of soup from The Original Soupman, a soup franchise with over eight locations in the city. Its yummy Lobster Bisque soups and Jambalaya are a huge favorite among local customers, while its Skinny Soup variants are beloved by consumers looking for healthier alternatives.

    Soupman, Inc. (OTCQX: SOUP) is the parent company of The Original Soupman brand and is responsible for manufacturing and distributing premium soups in the United States. It has partnered recently with Tetra Pak to package its soup varieties which helped placed the soup brand on supermarket aisles, where big players Campbell’s and Progresso are displayed. This has allowed the company to grow its customer base, leading to more shelf-spaces in over 3,000 supermarkets and grocery stores such as Food Emporium, Walmart, Meijer, Safeway and Super Fresh in the U.S.

    Soupman is on the opposite end of the spectrum of the other food stocks we will discuss in this article, with a small market capitalization $14.4 million, according to Yahoo Finance data. Despite being a micro-cap, however, SOUP has drawn an impressive roster of investors including Seinfeld star Jason Alexander, and athletes Reggie Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal. The company’s pricing is also on an upswing, trading at 0.4001 a share, a 1.29% increase from results of the previous trading day. On Monday, SOUP closed at .38. It also traded at 0.30 to 0.76 over the last 52 weeks.

    Craving comfort Mexican food (or a big-cap stock)? Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) allows diners to feast on your favorite Mexican food minus the guilt, as it uses only 100% organic, trans fat-free and free-range ingredients. Although hailing from the Midwest, the 20-year-old, fast casual dining company appeals to the younger and health-conscious New York market segment for its customized and healthy menu choices.

    The growth potential of Chipotle is notable, according to a IAEResearch’s report on Seeking Alpha. In 2013, Chipotle opened 185 new locations which helped generate $3.21 billion in revenue for the company. The revenue reflected a 17.7% increase for the said year, allowing investors to earn $10.47 per share.

    The company went public in 2006. Shares of the company currently trades at a whopping $552.40 a piece, based on Yahoo Finance data.

    In the mood for some fine-dining? Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse is the place to be. The Texas-based restaurant chain’s location in Midtown Manhattan is a perfect gastronomic stop after a day-tour of Times Square, Radio City Music Hall and the Rockefeller Center. The posh, three story-high restaurant offers an extensive menu of gourmet steak and seafood dishes that will delight guests’ tastebuds. The Del Frisco Restaurant Group (NASDAQ: DFRG) runs Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse as well as two more modern restaurant concepts: Sullivan’s Steakhouse and Del Frisco’s Grille.

    The company‘s stocks closed at $26.93 a piece on Wednesday, a 0.26% increase from its previous close. The company has a market capitalization of $636.25M, Yahoo Finance data showed.

    According to the company’s February news release, the company’s consolidated revenues increased by 16.9% to $271.8 million in 2013 from $232.4 million in 2012. Consolidated revenues from Q4 2013 meanwhile increased by 20.5$ to $97.5 million from $80.9 million, year-over-year.

    DFRG is among the full service restaurants that have outpaced the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index by 84% over the past year, according to Bloomberg.

    Investors and analysts are betting on this restaurant for its expansion plans and solid revenues, of which 50% is derived from corporate diners and moneyed patrons, Bloomberg reported. The report also said the company plans to open five more Del Frisco’s Grilles and one Double Eagle restaurant.

    Desserts and Digestifs
    The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ: CAKE) has over 10 restaurant locations in NYC to satisfy locals’ and tourists’ sweet cravings. Known for its sinfully good moist chocolate cakes and cheesecake flavors, the company has since been known for its delectable range of breakfast and brunch selections, and specialty sandwiches. It is also a nice place to grab a few drinks to cap off your meal.
    Shares of the company closed at 47.48 on Tuesday, a 0.68% increase from results of the previous trading day, Yahoo Finance data showed. The company has a total market capitalization of $2.38 billion. The company posted $1.87 million in earnings for fiscal year 2013, said NASDAQ.

    Rounding off our list is Starbucks (NYSE: SBUX), another company that is not based in New York (its headquarters are in Seattle), but New Yorkers just cannot seem to resist. While most people won’t bother spending $5 to $10 bucks for a signature coffee beverage, many New Yorkers won’t think twice of doing so. At least that is the case for most teens who comprise 13% of the NYC population—a big market, considering that the NYC population is 8.405 million, based on recent U.S. Census Bureau data.

    According to a survey conducted by Piper Jaffray senior analyst Nicole Miller Reagan for Talking Numbers, 11% of average-income teenagers and 12% upper-income teenagers preferred limited-service company Starbucks. The survey also revealed Starbucks is the limited service company of choice of 59% of teenagers who prefer grabbing a bite at limited service food joints.

    Miller Reagan also said that Starbucks is the only company to keep a double-digit market share in the said segment for the past seven years, and attributes Starbuck’s success to its ability to diversify. Getting on the gluten-free food and health beverage trend, and the “hot-food platform,” she said, will continue to increase Starbuck’s following.

    Latest Yahoo Finance data showed that Starbucks stocks traded at 70.79 a piece on Wednesday, a 2.76% increase from Tuesday’s close. Revenue-wise, the company saw a 12% increase in consolidated revenues to $4.2 billion in Q1 2014, according to its January news release.
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