Wednesday’s ETF To Watch: Consumer Staples Fund (XLP)

by on February 9, 2011 | ETFs Mentioned:

With markets reaching highs not seen since 2008, investor confidence is quickly on the rise. Yesterday marked a seventh straight finish in the green for the Dow, as positive indicators continue to flow in from a variety of market sectors. It would appear that markets have overcome the struggles in Egypt, as major indexes have rebounded from the “Friday of Wrath” and now wait patiently to see how the leadership for the nation will shape out. Within our own borders, markets will be subject to the tail end of earnings season this week, as several industry bellwethers have yet to disclose their most recent quarter’s performance, one of which, is The Coca-Cola Company (KO) [see also Warning: Commodity Surge Could Sink Consumer Staples ETFs].

Coca-Cola is arguably one of the most recognizable brand names in the world, as its reach expands into approximately 200 countries serving 1.5 billion servings daily. Based in Atlanta, this soft drink giant has dominated its industry since it was founded in 1892. Aside from the beverage itself, Coca-Cola also produces various juices, like Vitaminwater, soft drinks, and syrups that it sells around the world. In fact, 2009′s revenues came in at a whopping $31 billion for the massive firm. The company will hope to continue its profitable ways as it releases its earnings today, prior to market open [see also Sector ETFs During The Correction: XLE Slides, XLP Holds Ground].

Analysts predict that the soft drink giant will haul in profits of $0.72 a share, with revenues just under the $10 billion dollar mark. If Coca-Cola can make hit these figures, this would represent growth of nearly 30% from the same quarter a year ago, pretty solid considering the company’s high levels of penetration in most markets. The company has hit their EPS estimates for the last three quarters, and as analysts continue to raise their predictions, Coca-Cola continues to beat them suggesting that global consumers continue to hold Coke in high regard [see also January ETF Flows: Hot Start To 2011].

In light of this major earnings report, today’s ETF to watch will be the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP). This ETF tracks the Consumer Staples Select Sector Index, which includes companies from the following industries: food & staples retailing; household products; food products; beverages; tobacco; and personal products. XLP houses some of America’s biggest brand names like Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart, and Phillip Morris International. Coca-Cola comes in as the fourth largest holding, accounting for (7.4%) of the ETF. Because Coca-Cola is such a vital part of this fund, its earnings will likely have a major impact on XLP’s trading today. If Coca-Cola misses their marks, XLP may take a hit, but if the firm meets analyst expectations, look for XLP to have a strong day.

Disclosure: Photo courtesy of Billy Hathorn. No positions at time of writing.