52-Week High Catalysts for Diageo, Starbucks, Reynolds American and Hershey

Some very interesting themes are emerging from stocks hitting 52-week highs. The following four stocks evidence an appetite for companies exhibiting positive news around sales of alcohol, coffee, tobacco, and chocolate.

Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO) is reportedly looking at buying Beam (NYSE:BEAM). The acquisition would increase Diageo’s share of the U.S. spirits market above 30 percent. Diageo already has 300 percent more market share than its nearest competitor. DEO shares recently traded at $87.08, up $0.73, or 0.85%.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX): Trader Mike Murphy thinks Starbucks is getting so strong, it’s “the Apple of the coffee world.” Recent results show year-over-year sales up 9.3 percent and net income up 31.7 percent. Plus Starbucks customers pay premiums to feed their caffeine addiction: “If you want a Starbucks latte, you’re going to pay the $4 to get it.” Other news sending Starbucks to a 52-week high includes DA Davidson’s upgrade of Starbucks stock to a Buy. Davidson projects 20 percent earnings growth for Starbucks over the next 3-5 years. SBUX shares recently traded at $46.39, up $0.61, or 1.33%.

Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE:RAI): Reynolds American and Altria (NYSE:MO) have agreed to improve public availability of once secret internal documents about tobacco industry practices. They are creating a fund of $6.3 million which resolves a dispute between tobacco companies and U.S. regulators. The change should improve access to tobacco industry online document databases. RAI shares recently traded at $41.78, up $0.08, or 0.19%.

Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY): Hershey has pushed to a new 52-week high since Bank of America upgraded the stock to Buy.  BofA cited stabilizing commodity costs and earnings momentum for the upgrade. HSY shares recently traded at $62.01, up $0.38, or 0.62%.