Consumer Non-Cyclical Sector Review: Diamond Foods Probe, PepsiCo

Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND) audit committee is supposed to complete the results of its probe into the company’s accounting methods within the next week or two. Last month, Diamond said that the committee’s investigation into payments made by the company to its walnut growers would be completed by the middle of February. In a February 7 note to investors, Deutsche Bank predicts that The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) will not commit to the sale of its Pringles unit to Diamond until the SEC and Department of Justice complete their own probes into Diamond’s accounting issues.

On the other hand, the firm thinks that the probability of Pringles being sold to Diamond will increase significantly if the results of Diamond’s internal probe are favorable. Deutsche Bank continues to see three possible scenarios for Diamond’s stock: If the Pringles deal is completed by FY13, the firm thinks that the stock will be worth $65. If the deal is altered due to added risk, the firm values the shares at $58. Finally, if the deal collapses but Diamond isn’t forced to restate its results, the shares will be worth $30, Deutsche believes, which maintains a Hold rating on the shares. In early trading, Diamond dropped 70c, or 1.86%, to $36.96.

DMND shares closed at $36.66, down $1, or 2.66%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $808.65 million.

PG shares closed at $63.64, down $0.06, or 0.09%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $175.29 billion.

PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP): The National Labor Relations Board ruled that there is reasonable cause to think PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) broke a contract with its upstate New York union workers by implementing a sin tax on workers who are overweight or smoke while making the union unable to shop for an alternate health plan, reported The New York Post. Next, the NLRB will see if PepsiCo wants to settle the matter and if not, it will file a complaint, according to Acting Buffalo NLRB director Paul Murphy.

The shares closed at $66.74, down $0.02, or 0.03%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $104.34 billion.

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