A Highlight of Quintessentially American Stocks

Jacob Harper  |

The Fourth of July ‘tis the day to celebrate our nation’s birth, which Americans do in a variety of ways. Some might read passages of the Declaration of Independence and give thanks for the fact that we live in a modernized democracy and aren’t serfs that spend the entire day toiling in the regional landowner’s fiefdom. Others might spend the July 4 watching Arnold Schwartzenegger and/or Patrick Swayze movies.

But most of us celebrate July 4 by just taking it easy. We have barbecues, we go swimming, we maybe listen to some classic rock and drink a beer of three. All while giving a tip of the cap to the USA. Because July 4 is about taking it easy, but most of all it’s day to celebrate America, in all its awesome American-ness.

With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to take a look at the performance of stocks we felt, for one reason or another, are quintessentially emblematic of America.

Boston Beer Co Inc (SAM)

Boston Beer Company is best knows for brewing Sam Adams beer, named, of course, after the famous brewer and patriot Samuel Adams. The Boston Beer Company was founded in 1984, and was an immediate smash. With the sale of Anheuser Busch to Belgian conglomerate InBev in 2008. Boston Beer Company is tied for the largest American-owned brewery with Yuengling.

The company had their IPO in 1995 at $15.00 a share, and have more or less grown steadily ever since. The stock currently sits at $174.35 a share, but has seen a healthy gain year-to-date of 21.1 percent.

Clorox (CLX)

What’s so American about a detergent? Not much – but Clorox also owns Kingsford Charcoal, Hidden Valley Ranch, and KC Masterpiece, three major ingredient of any decent America-celebratin’ barbecue.

Clorox was founded in 1918 and first went public way back in 1928. Clorox was briefly owned by Procter and Gamble, though they were forced to divest because of fair trade issues. Their stock has had a nice run the last few years, and is up 58.42 percent the last five years and 13.80 percent this year-to-date.

Kraft (KRFT)

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If Clorox has some of the ingredients for an American, barbecue, Kraft has the entire recipe. Oscar Meyer. Claussen Pickles. Jell-O. Kool-Aid. Miracle Whip. If it’s in Grandma’s ambrosia salad, Kraft probably has something to do with it.

Kraft was founded in 1903 and first went public in 2001 raising $8.7 billion in the offering. It was at the time the second largest IPO in history behind only AT & T. Kraft is up 22.12 percent on the year, spurred on by an exceptionally strong first quarter earnings report. Their next report is August 1.

American Apparel (APP)

Despite the controversy surrounding them, American Apparel is an exceedingly American story. Started by an immigrant, Dov Charney, American Apparel has gone on from its humble beginnings at Tufts University in 1989 to become America’s largest vertically integrated retail manufacturer with over 11,300 employees. Unlike basically all clothing manufacturers, the entirety of American Apparel’s base operations are in the US of A.

Of course, the company’s racy advertising and Charney’s multiple sexual harassment lawsuits threaten to overshadow what is, at its core, a story about the American Dream. Well, the American dream in tight t-shirts. The company first went public in 2006 via a shell company, and has been up and down ever since. It’s up 83.37 percent on the year to hit $1.85 a share, though their stock is down 69.47 percent from five years ago.

Smith and Wesson Holding Corp (SWHC)

Smith and Wesson is one of America’s oldest public arms manufacturers. Smith and Wesson make the .38 Special, the .357 Magnum and the Smith and Wesson 44 Magnum Model 29, AKA and the gun owned by that most American of American icons: Dirty Harry.

This Springfield, Massachusetts company has been in existence since 1852 and went public in 2001 when Saf-T-Hammer Corporation acquired Smith & Wesson Corporation from Tomkins PLC, a U.K. holding company on May 11, 2001. Smith and Wesson’ stock is up 18.13 percent on the year to hit 9.97 percent, and analysts like the future of the company, citing their healthy profits and record demands for firearms.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer.


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