Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

What are we looking for?

Canadian consumer staple stocks with vigorous long-term growth in earnings per share and robust return on capital.

Since the beginning of the year, the difference in returns between consumer staples and the broader Canadian market has been striking. In the first six months of the year the sector has kept its head above water at 0.6 per cent while the broader market lost 9.1 per cent.

The second quarter rebound by the S&P/TSX Composite Index was less evident among staples stocks, but they are still comfortably ahead of the broader market. Work-from-home policies during the COVID-19 pandemic and general consumer cautiousness regarding crowded areas continue to drive grocery spending and place consumer staples in a profitable environment.

Story continues below advertisement

The screen

We screened companies focusing on the following criteria:

  • Market capitalization higher than $250-million;
  • Five-year average EPS growth higher than 8 per cent – we want a company that has been able to increase its earnings per share at a rapid pace;
  • Most recently reported return on capital higher than 5 per cent. We look for a business with a decent ROC, and will rank the companies by this metric. We focus on the short-term return, owing to the abnormal environment created by the pandemic;
  • Positive price-to-earnings ratio – We want to eliminate unprofitable companies.

For informational purposes, we have also included: recent stock price; dividend yield; one-year price return; change in net operating profit after taxes (NOPAT) over the most recent three months; sales growth over the past 12 months; and five-year average sales growth.

More about Inovestor

Inovestor for Advisors is a fundamental-analysis research platform specializing in the economic value-added (EVA) approach. With Inovestor, advisers can quickly identify attractive investment opportunities, outsource their stock picking by using model portfolios, and easily communicate investment decisions with clients through client-friendly reports.

What we found

Alimentation Couche-Tard tops our list with an ROC of 13.6 per cent. The convenience-store giant shows a five-year EPS growth rate of 24.2 per cent and in the past year alone has increased its EPS by 29 per cent (not shown). Sales declined over the past 12 months compared with the previous year because of lower fuel volumes sold, but margins profited from the sharp decline in price of oil. The environment is certainly challenging, but the company showed resilience in its previous quarterly report. Couche-Tard has an impressive track record and the P/E ratio seems quite reasonable considering its EPS growth and high return on capital. Economies of scale allow for greater margins while revenue diversification favours the stability of its returns.

Juice producer Lassonde Industries Inc. has the highest three-month NOPAT growth on our list. The company certainly has a substantial tailwind with its focus on retail products, but Lassonde has also reported strong earnings growth and return on capital in the past. Twelve-month sales growth stands at 6.5 per cent, stronger than its 3.8-per-cent annual sales growth over the past five years. Historically, its growth has been mostly done by acquisition owing to low growth in its industry, a strategy that seems to have paid off effectively.

Metro Inc. has realized an annual sales growth of 8.3 per cent over the past five years and 6.6 per cent in the most recent 12-month period. The food and drug retailer’s ability to increase the amount of invested capital, combined with a strong return on capital while experiencing low sales volatility, is the perfect recipe for a resilient business. The company has been fortunate in the crisis and could continue to benefit from increased grocery spending in the next few quarters.

For more details about these Consumer Staples, please subscribe to the Inovestor for Advisors platform for free.

Story continues below advertisement

Investors are advised to do further research before investing in any of the companies listed in the table below.

Select consumer staples stocks

CompanyTickerMkt. Cap. ($ Mil.)5Y Avg. EPS Grth. (%)ROC (%)P/E3M NOPAT Chg.12M Sales Grth. (%)5Y Avg. Sales Grth. (%)Div. Yld. (%)1Y Price Rtn. (%)Recent Price ($)
Alim. Couche-TardATD-B-T50,94024.213.616.20.7-
Lassonde IndustriesLAS-A-T1,07012.612.313.
Metro Inc.MRU-T14,2809.
George Weston Ltd.WN-T15,65052.29.512.
Premium BrandsPBH-T3,28032.
Andrew Peller Ltd.ADW-A-T3838.57.315.0-
Loblaw Cos. Ltd.L-T24,13069.95.521.

Source: Inovestor

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies