“The New American Super Brand”

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 13, 2007

The Gardners are at it again, peddling their Motley Fool Stock Advisor Newsletter with the promise of the bonus free report on the “New American Super Brand.”

Now I actually like the Motley Fool, and have paid to subscribe to some of their products in the past. But they’ve definitely perfected the insanely long advertising email, chock full of company teasers.

This latest email that was forwarded by a reader? 17 PAGES. My God, does this really work?

I guess maybe it does, because they keep doing it. So what’s this “New American Super Brand” they’re issuing a report on?

They compare it to Starbucks, Wal Mart, and Nike. Good so far.

And they provide a bunch of hints:

  • “A couple of years ago, you couldn’ve gotten into this company for about a third of what it costs today” (that’s stretching it with current prices, but the email is probably a bit out of date)
  • This brand made the “revolutionary” decision not to follow the industry practice of renting shelf space. (That tells you we almost definitely have a discount/department store or supermarket here)
  • Sales jumped 23% in 2004, and 22% in 2005
  • 3X more profitable than their major competitors
  • $267 million in cash, only $15 million in debt (competitors are much more indebted).
  • “international sites so far [only] in Canada and Great Britain”
  • goal of $12 billion in sales in 2010
  • won Fast Company’s “Customers First” award.

OK, that’s more than enough hints — ready?

The New American Super Brand is Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM)

I’m sure the Stock Advisor service is great for some people, and that reading their analysis of the company might give you a better perspective, or more conviction if you’re wanting to buy. But if you just want to know what this company is, there you have it — thanks to your friendly Stock Gumshoe. There’s no shortage of free information available about this massive company, so don’t feel like you have to subscribe to a service to understand them.

I’ve been interested in this company for quite some time, too, though I’ve never thought it was cheap enough to buy. Now, shares are near their 52 week low and about 40% off the highs of late last fall, thanks to some disappointments and a big acquisition and, perhaps, fears of growth stocks in general — so perhaps this is your chance. It’s still not cheap, in my opinion, but if it’s the New American Super Brand it may never be cheap. Caveat emptor.

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