What We're Drinking: 3 Stocks to Watch

By Markets Fool.com

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When looking for companies to invest in, one good bit of advice is to look for ones that make products you arefamiliar with and fond of. This strategy is particularlyrecommendable if you are new to investing, but it's alsoused by seasoned pros.

The beverage industry is one that most people have some personal experience with, and it's also host to some companies that could make fantastic additions to your investment portfolio. Here are three companies serving up tasty beverages that should be on your stock market radar.

PepsiCo
PepsiCo
is a worthy candidate for any investment portfolio and a stock that can deliver great returns over the long term. The company is a powerhouse in the beverages segment, not only delivering popular soft drinks like Pepsi and Mountain Dew, but also products like Tropicana Juices, Aquafina,and bottled Starbucks coffees. With its Frito-Lay snacks division included, PepsiCo had 22 individual brands that each delivered more than $1 billion in revenue in 2014. The company's incredible cache of powerful brands helped it deliver revenue of $66 billion in the last fiscal year, and it's ample and reliable free cash flow generation makes itone of the most appealing dividend stocks on the market. The company has raised its payout for 42 years straight and has delivered total returns of roughly 170% over the last decade.

A recent stock dip has pushed the company's dividend yield to roughly 3%, which is well above the roughly 2.3% return offered by a 10-year Treasury Bond and may indicate that now is a good time to add PepsiCo stock to your holdings. PepsiCo stock has a forward P/E value of roughly 20.5, and a comparison to the average forwardP/E value of roughly 18 for the S&P 500suggests the stock is reasonably priced.

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Coca-Cola
Like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola is a titan of the beverage industryandthe purveyor of a large and diverse range of drinks. Besides the famed soft drink carrying the company's name, the company also produces refreshments such as Sprite, PowerAde, Honest Tea, and Minute Made juices. Also like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola offers prospective investors a very attractive dividend profile. Its current yield sits at roughly 3.3%, and shareholders probably do not have to worry much about the company lowering its payout. The beverage giant has delivered dividend growth for 52 years running, and with a forward P/E value of roughly 20, its stock seems reasonably priced.

The company boasts 20 brands that do at least $1 billion in annual sales, and Coca-Cola's massive scale gives it huge manufacturing and distribution advantages relative to smaller beverage companiesthat makeit unlikely that the company will be seriously disrupted by emerging competitors. Sluggishness in domestic soda sales has led to slower-than-expected growth over the last several years, but Coca-Cola has avenues to prosperity even if Americans continue to shy away from sodas.For future growth, the company is looking to developing markets, as well as new products such as a healthier milk and juices and energy drinks. Shares have delivered total returns of roughly 144% over the last decade.

Boston Beer Company
If you're a beer drinker, you're probably well aware of the renaissance currently shaping the industry. The craft beer revolution has given consumers more quality and more variety than ever before, and Boston Beer Company has been a big part of the transformation. The company is most known for its Samuel Adams beer line, however the company also produces Angry Orchard ciders, Twisted Tea, and Traveler shandies. Its strength in non-beer alcoholic beverages is a major asset for the company, as large companies and independently owned micro-breweries continue to flood the craft market.

Boston Beer Company has a forward P/E value of roughly 33, which indicates that the company is priced for growth. With a market cap of roughly $3.5 billion, the company is small relative to competitors like Annheuser-Busch InBevand Molson Coors, but it also has more room for market expansion. Company stock has generated returns of roughly 1,200% since its November 2006 IPO, and annual revenue and EPS have been on a strong uptrend.

SAM EPS Diluted (Annual) Chart

SAM EPS Diluted (Annual) data by YCharts

With astrong cache of alcoholic beverage brands and momentum in the craft beer market, Boston Beer Company looks capable of delivering continued wins and enriching investors.

The article What We're Drinking: 3 Stocks to Watch originally appeared on Fool.com.

Keith Noonan has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Boston Beer, PepsiCo, and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Boston Beer, PepsiCo, and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.