As markets trend higher, it is commonplace that stocks will receive a multiple that exceeds their "fair market value." This multiple that they are assigned will naturally continue to appreciate and expand so long as the stock in question continues to perform and "meet expectations." This increase and disjointed market perception will assign a "premium" to particular Wall St. darlings and makes for a situation where certain stocks trade well above their reality.
I present to you, Hormel Foods (HRL).
This pig (pun intended) has risen in stock price significantly faster than the S&P 500 in the past year and it's peer group. Hormel's moonshot rise has can be attributed to the following:
- Improved quarter over quarter EPS growth (5.9% in the most recent quarter)
- Pattern of positive EPS growth over the past two years
- Year over year bottom line growth ($2.23 vs $1.94) and an expectation of improved earnings year over year ($2.60 vs $2.23)
- Net income growth from the same quarter one year ago exceeded the S&P 500 and has decimated any competition. ($137.98M vs $146.94M)
- Net operating cash flow increased significantly (104.89% to $244.51M) when compared to same quarter (most recent quarter) last year
- Debt to equity ratio is 0.15 and is below that of the industry average. This implies that the company is really good at managing debt and improving operating efficiencies.