Hershey’s (HSY): Right or wrong: Hershey’s is a classic investment for Halloween. You see the mounds of candy stacked high at Wal-Mart and Target, and all the kids stuffing extra bags into mom’s shopping carts, and think this stock is as good as a Hershey’s Kiss. Wrong! There are two problems for Hershey’s right now. First, Hurricane Sandy will be like a wet rag to the East Coast’s trick or treating, which means unsold candy at retailers. Two, Hershey’s tried to jack up prices before the arrival of Sandy, and consumers likely balked by purchasing less.
Procter & Gamble (PG): What kid doesn’t enjoy toilet-papering homes and cars with wet pieces of Charmin? And hey, Hurricane Sandy led to tons of battery sales from the likes of Procter’s Duracell division. The problem investing here is that Procter’s management team has come under fire for not doing a stellar job, and as a company is battling higher costs to makes its products. If you want to invest in this TP/battery combo, try a grocery store such as Whole Foods.
Hot Topic (HOTT): For the first time in many years Hot Topic, the go-to destination for Halloween, had minimal packaged costumes in its stores. Instead, it created an atmosphere of “DIY Halloween” with an array of fun makeup, fake hair, and all of the accessories for a killer costume. They did this to sell you more stuff (duh). The problem is that, again, Hurricane Sandy may have hurt the company’s sales in the last week of October, leading to a bunch of discounted products that will crush profits. Scary indeed.
Netflix (NFLX): While Verizon, Cablevision, and Discovery would be interesting Halloween investments (more horror movie watching), Netflix is worthy of some thought. As many houses were without electricity bored people were still able to view movies on mobile devices. Also, unplanned-for Hurricane Sandy expenses may mean a November of consumers staying in to save money, and watching movies from Netflix.
Diageo (DEO): This company is the world’s largest liquor company; bet you didn’t know that! Not only does the company sell Johnny Walker, Smirnoff, and Jose Cuervo, but boasts P. Diddy’s Ciroc as one of its top-selling brands. Halloween is great for liquor sales by consumers who are too old to trick or treat but still want to party. Also, rumor around our ‘hood is that there were tons of Hurricane Sandy parties as thirsty consumers weathered the storm.