Way back in the early 1900s, there was a huge pushback against the meat industry and its unsanitary conditions. In fact, you might have seen Upton Sinclair’s revolutionary book on the topic, The Jungle, which detailed the disturbing conditions workers faced in the meat factories. The Jungle was so eye-opening that it sparked reforms which led to the Meat Inspections Act and the creation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Well, more than a century later, the meat industry is back under fire again.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many meat and poultry companies reported supply shortages. Understandably, Americans were worried about they’d get their meat from.
This fear spurred the Defense Production Act, which declared meat plants as “essential business” and kept them open for business.
Now, however, some critics are saying that these claims were not true. In fact, they believe that the meat companies were playing this up deliberately to instigate the executive order. After all, now that the Trump administration has provided federal regulations for keeping the plants open, “Big Poultry” and their cohort won’t have to worry about local rules surrounding the pandemic.
Reports are now showing that exports of meat continued despite shortages in production in March and April. The amount of exports and meat in cold storage this year actually exceed the amount reported for 2019, especially exports of pork to China.
And now, some of the big heads are in hot water again! On June 3, four Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC) executives, including the current CEO, were indicted for fixing chicken prices between 2012 and 2017. PPC shares fell 12.3% on the news, but investors backed out of other major chicken producers, too. Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN) fell 3.8%, while Sanderson Farms, Inc. (SAFM), dropped 6.2%.
The meat companies have been considered relatively “safe” for investors for years, but following the legal trouble and the stocks’ subsequent drops, Wall Street is losing interest in chicken.
So, it’s no surprise that PPC, SAFM and TSN receive failing grades in my Portfolio Grader. PPC and TSN receive an F-rating for their Quantitative Grade, which is especially alarming. Institutional buying pressure has dried up.
Going back to Upton Sinclair for a moment, he famously said after publication of The Jungle: “I aimed for the public’s heart and hit their stomach.” In other words, while the unsanitary conditions were especially memorable, Sinclair also intended to expose an unethical system.
And if there’s one thing I know today, it’s this: Good businesses worthy of your investment dollars do not need to resort to dirty tricks (so to speak) to stay on top.
There are plenty of other, higher quality companies out there that are growing sales the old-fashioned way, that are seeing strong institutional buying pressure, and that are earning high ratings in my Portfolio Grader.
And for me, I’m finding them in the renewable energy space.
I wrote just last week that there’s a major shift taking place in how electricity is generated. As I mentioned in that article, for the first time in over 130 years renewable energy consumption topped coal. And it also has a great outlook for growth, with the possibility of clean energy taking over 90% of energy market by 2035.
I also stated that Enphase Energy, Inc. (ENPH) was my top solar play and sits as a Top Stock in my Platinum Growth Club Model Portfolio. However, it’s not the only solar stock I like right now. Another company at the top of my list is SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. (SEDG). The company invented the DC optimized inverter solution, which changed the way power is collected and managed in solar PV systems. Its solution maximizes power generation, while, at the same time, lowers costs. And the first system was delivered in 2008.
SolarEdge Technologies started providing commercial shipments of its solution in 2010. Over the past decade, the company has shipped more than 1.5 million inverters and more than 40 million power optimizers worldwide. Breaking it down further, SolarEdge Technologies’ systems provide 14.6 gigawatts of power, and it has systems installed in more than 130 countries around the world.
The stock is currently in my Top 5 for Breakthrough Stocks. It hit record annual growth of $431.2 million in its first quarter. Meanwhile, meat companies are resorting to price fixing in order to increase profits.
New, innovative industries offer great opportunities even in a tough market. In the case of SolarEdge Technologies, it’s already up more than 16% since I added it to the Breakthrough Stocks Buy List in March, and I expect it to continue moving higher.
While I do like the renewable energy space, that’s certainly not the only industry I see good long-term growth in. I recommend stocks in a variety of sectors across all of my services – over 100 stocks combined. And as a Platinum Growth Club member, you have access to all of them. You also receive my exclusive Platinum Growth Club Model Portfolio, which are the crème de la crème of stocks.