The Coca-Cola Company (KO), PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP): The Sweeter Side of the Cola Wars

Ingredion Inc (NYSE:INGR) is a diversified international corn refiner that makes ingredients for food, beverages, medicines, and industrial manufacturing. Formerly Corn Products, Ingredion is a $4.8 billion company with a long history of growth. Ingredion’s Enliten is derived from a new patented strain of Stevia plant bred to optimize sweetening flavor, and is a component of Ingredion’s sweetener division that comprises 44% of revenue. Enliten is not yet a major contributor, but Ingredion is committed to expanding its natural sweetener offerings.  

The stock has seen turbulent times, and is down 5% year to date on a 10% decline in adjusted EPS.  The company attributes this drop to macroeconomic hardships in South America.  Regardless, it generated $732 million in operating cash flow in 2012, and pays a dividend of around 2%. With a P/E of 11.6, Ingredion Inc (NYSE:INGR) may be a nice diversified play in a growing market for natural sweeteners, and it pays you to wait for temporary macroeconomic pressures to work themselves out.

The whole picture

The debate over sugar and artificial sweeteners will likely continue for some time, and highlights the evolving nature of our understanding of cardiovascular health. Coke’s attempt to revive its diet beverage may help its top line, but its international growth and timeless brand are the real forces behind its success. There are many high risk micro-cap companies playing with innovative Stevia plants, but Ingredion Inc (NYSE:INGR) is an established natural-sweetener supplier worth looking at.

The article The Sweeter Side of the Cola Wars originally appeared on

Seth Robey has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. The Motley Fool owns shares of PepsiCo.

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