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Helen of Troy (HELE) Adds Osprey, Strengthens Leadership Brands

Helen of Troy Limited HELE has been focused on making meaningful acquisitions and strengthening its Leadership Brands’ portfolio. The company concluded the buyout of Osprey Packs, Inc worth $414.7 million, which will mark the company’s ninth Leadership Brand and fuel further growth.

The addition of Osprey, a renowned name in technical and everyday packs, is likely to be a prudent fit for Helen of Troy’s portfolio. Osprey’s robust product range includes backpacks and daypacks for hiking, trail running, climbing, mountain biking, mountaineering, skiing, commuting and school, with wheeled luggage, rugged adventure travel packs and travel accessories.

Osprey will complement Helen of Troy’s Housewares indoor and outdoor portfolio, which includes OXO and Hydro Flask. It will also spur the company’s international growth as nearly half of Osprey’s sales are made outside the United States. Meanwhile, HELE is likely to solidify Osprey’s already strong product pipeline, extend its distribution with new retail customers and strengthen the latter’s footing in the United States as well as abroad.

Helen of Troy anticipates Osprey to augment its consolidated sales growth rate, gross profit margin, adjusted EBITDA margin, adjusted earnings per share (EPS), adjusted EPS growth rate as well as cash flow from operations. Due to its healthy financial status, the company remains committed to efficient capital allocation, such as buyouts and share buybacks.

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Leadership Brands – a Growth Driver

Helen of Troy has been focused on making solid investments in its Leadership Brands, a portfolio of market-leading brands. Brands in this portfolio, including OXO, Hydro Flask, Vicks, Braun, Honeywell, PUR, Hot Tools and Drybar, are positioned to enhance market share. These brands account for a significant portion of the company's sales, which generate solid margins and volumes. Leadership Brands contributed more than 81% to the company's sales in fiscal 2021.

The company's constant investments in these brands, which are considered to be the most productive, have been delivering robust results. The company made a similar move when it acquired Drybar Products in January 2020. Drybar Products, which marks the company's eighth Leadership Brand, is yielding results. On its last earnings call, management highlighted that Drybar Products has been contributing to the company's growth and margin improvement as stores and salons are reopening following pandemic-led closures. Impressive product introductions in the particular brand have also been driving growth.

Although Leadership Brands' net sales fell 8.7% in the second quarter of fiscal 2022, Drybar, Hydro Flask and Hot Tools product lines performed well. OXO and Hydro Flask witnessed robust organic growth across both domestic and international regions. Solid demand in Drybar and Hot Tools contributed significantly to growth in the Beauty category. As part of its strategy to focus on Leadership Brands, Helen of Troy divested its mass market Personal Care business (excluding the Latin America and Caribbean regions) to HRB Brands LLC on Jun 8, 2021.

Osprey’s addition to Helen of Troy’s Leadership Brands’ portfolio is likely to spur further growth for the company. Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have rallied 5.2% in the past six months against the industry’s decline of 11.3%.

3 Consumer Staple Picks

Some better-ranked stocks from the Consumer Staples sector are MGP Ingredients MGPI, United Natural Foods, Inc. UNFI and The Hain Celestial Group HAIN.

MGP Ingredients, the producer and supplier of distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starch food ingredients, currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Shares of the company have rallied 29.3% in the past six months. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MGP Ingredients’ current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 55.5% and 61.4%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s figures. MGPI has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 117.6%, on average.

United Natural Foods distributes natural, organic, specialty, produce, and conventional grocery and non-food products. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). United Natural Foods has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 35.4%, on average.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for UNFI’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 4.8% and 7.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s figures. Shares of United Natural Foods have risen 39.2% in the past six months.

The Hain Celestial, which provides various natural and organic foods as well as personal care products in North America and Europe, carries a Zacks Rank #2 at present. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 9.7%, on average. Shares of The Hain Celestial have moved up 6.9% in the past six months.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HAlN’s current financial-year EPS suggests growth of 14.5% from the year-ago period’s reported number.

Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022

In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022?

From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.

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The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN): Free Stock Analysis Report
United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI): Free Stock Analysis Report
Helen of Troy Limited (HELE): Free Stock Analysis Report
MGP Ingredients, Inc. (MGPI): Free Stock Analysis Report
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