Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Bulls Converge With Bears as Consumer Stock Valuations Soar

Stock market bulls and bears agree on at least one thing. The highest valuations for makers of household goods since 2008 signal the best is over after the industry rose more than any other group this year.

Supermarket operators, food producers and soapmakers in the MSCI World Index gained 3.1 percent in 2011 through Oct. 14 as the gauge for developed-market stocks lost 7.3 percent on concern the global economy is slowing. Japan Tobacco Inc., the seller of Mild Seven cigarettes, trades 12 percent above its price-earnings multiple from the past five years. Hershey Co.’s 27 percent rally pushed the chocolate maker to the biggest premium to profits since 2008, data compiled by Bloomberg show.