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10 Best Ice Cream Stocks To Buy Now

In this article, we discuss 10 best ice cream stocks to buy now. If you want to read about some more ice cream stocks, go directly to 5 Best Ice Cream Stocks To Buy Now.

Ice cream is one of the favorite desserts of people across the world. It is especially popular in the United States. According to data collected by the International Dairy Foods Association, the ice cream industry has an impact worth more than $13 billion on the US economy every year. Of the 3 million jobs in the dairy sector, nearly 30,000 are directly linked to the ice cream firms. Of the $42 billion in direct wages that the dairy sector continues to the US economy, nearly $2 billion comes from the ice cream universe. 

Research firm Fortune Business Insights estimates the global ice cream market will reach $97 billion in value by 2027, up from $71 billion in 2021 — a 37% jump in less than a decade. Some of the major ice cream stocks that could benefit from this growth include McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS), and Bloomin' Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLMN). The industry is witnessing exciting demand trends in the non-dairy ice creams and plant-based ingredients space as well.

Our Methodology

The companies that operate in the ice cream sector were selected for the list. In order to provide readers with some context for their investment choices, the business fundamentals and analyst ratings for the stocks are also discussed. Data from around 900 elite hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey in the second quarter of 2022 was used to identify the number of hedge funds that hold stakes in each firm.

10 Best Ice Cream Stocks To Buy Now
10 Best Ice Cream Stocks To Buy Now

Anna-Mari West/Shutterstock.com

Best Ice Cream Stocks To Buy Now

10. BT Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BTBD)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: N/A    

BT Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BTBD) owns and operates fast-food restaurants in the north central region of the United States. It is one of the best ice cream stocks to invest in. BT Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BTBD) recently revealed that it had acquired 11.1 million shares, representing a 41.4% stake, of Bagger Dave's Burger Tavern for $1.3 million, equating to $0.11 per share, from the founder and CEO Michael Ansley. Ansley agreed to cancel all voting preferred shares prior to completing the sale to BT Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BTBD).

Just like McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS), and Bloomin' Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLMN), BT Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BTBD) is one of the best ice cream stocks to buy now. 

9. Good Times Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ:GTIM)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 5   

Good Times Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ:GTIM) engages in the restaurant business in the United States. It is one of the top ice cream stocks to invest in. Good Times Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ:GTIM) recently reported Q3 FY22 results, in line with expectations. The results show that profitability remains challenging for the firm due to commodity and labor inflation. Despite no long-term debt and healthy growth, the firm currently trades as a distressed asset at less than book value. 

On July 12, Good Times Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ:GTIM) announced that same-store sales for its third quarter ended June 28 increased 1.6% for its Good Times brand from the same prior year quarter and increased 5.3% for its Bad Daddy's brand from the same prior year quarter.

At the end of the second quarter of 2022, 5 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $2.7 million in Good Times Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ:GTIM), compared to 5 in the preceding quarter worth $3.3 million. 

8. Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE:SHAK)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 17    

Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE:SHAK) owns, operates, and licenses Shake Shack restaurants (Shacks) worldwide. It is one of the major ice cream stocks to invest in. The company posted earnings for the second quarter of 2022 on August 4, reporting earnings per share of $0.00, beating market estimates by $0.02. The revenue over the period was $230 million, up more than 23% compared to the revenue over the same period last year. The company also revealed that system-wide sales amounted to $351.7 million during the time, up 24.8% versus 2021.

On August 08, Credit Suisse analyst Lauren Silberman kept a Neutral rating on Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE:SHAK) stock and lowered the price target to $61 from $72, noting that the company's Q2 print reflected top-line softness on a pullback in trends and delay in new unit openings, and a restaurant margin beat.

At the end of the second quarter of 2022, 17 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $145.8 million in Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE:SHAK), compared to 21 in the previous quarter worth $217.9 million.

In its Q3 2021 investor letter, Alger, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE:SHAK) was one of them. Here is what the fund said:

“Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE:SHAK) was among the top detractors from performance. Shake Shack is a modern day “roadside” burger stand serving a classic American menu of premium burgers, hot dogs, crinkle cut fries, shakes, frozen custard, beer and wine. Founded by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (“USHG”), Shake Shack was created by leveraging USHG’s expertise in sourcing premium ingredients, community building, hospitality, fine dining and restaurant operations. There are currently 339 locations, including restaurants in 32 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and 116 international locations in cities like London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, the Philippines, Mexico, Istanbul, Dubai, Tokyo, Seoul and more.

Shares of Shake Shack underperformed in the third quarter due to a slower-than-expected recovery in urban locations and a lower-than-expected margin outlook. Sales at Urban locations were still down 18% year over year in July compared to a 23% decline in May, a modest improvement but less than expectations. We believe a delay in return to work has caused a temporary stalling in the company’s margin recovery, but this should improve as urban mobility increases and tourism from foreigners normalizes. On margins, the company guided to 15%-17% restaurant-level margins, which was below expectations of 18.9%. This margin outlook factored in higher wage inflation, which the company will begin to offset with a 3.5% price increase in the coming months. We believe margin recovery can potentially follow a sales recovery so near-term revenue choppiness may result in margin weakness but we believe the company is well positioned for when the environment normalizes as the pandemic winds down. Ultimately, we believe the pandemic accelerated Shake Shack’s digital efforts, so the company is currently positioned to benefit from a strong online presence. Digital was only 12% of sales in the early months of 2020, but that increased to 47% as of the second quarter of this year.”

7. Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 20      

Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) franchises and operates restaurants under the Wingstop brand name. It is one of the elite ice cream stocks to invest in. Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) recently announced that it would be introducing a chicken sandwich next month and is expected to benefit from Uber advertising support in the back half in this regard. The firm is also undergoing a multi-year year tech stack project that is appreciated from a cost/capex perspective but opens the door to collecting the type of tech fees common in the pizza industry that are not currently factored into consensus estimates. 

On September 12, Wedbush analyst Nick Setyan kept an Outperform rating on Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) stock and raised the price target to $157 from $135, highlighting that the popularity of the chicken sandwich could transform Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) long-term unit economics.

Among the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, London-based investment firm Fundsmith LLP is a leading shareholder in Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING), with 825 million shares worth more than $61 million.  

In its Q2 2021 investor letter, ClearBridge Investments, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) was one of them. Here is what the fund said:

“Other new buys included Wingstop. Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING), meanwhile, in the consumer discretionary sector, is doing to chicken wings what Domino’s did to pizza. With a strong digital model, the franchise-based business has a long runway for growth with an existing base of 1,500 stores expanding to potentially 6,000 units and compelling franchisee economics.”

6. Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 21     

Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) operates as a fast-moving consumer goods company. It is one of the premier ice cream stocks to invest in. Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) has implemented a new operating model and restated its historical results according to this model. The restated results confirm that some categories are struggling when it comes to their underlying volume growth and their profitability. However, the new operating model should lead to a more enterprising managerial culture that could help to fix Unilever's category-specific issues. 

On September 29, Morgan Stanley analyst Pinar Ergun initiated coverage of Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) stock with an Equal Weight rating and a $42.75 price target, highlighting that cost improvement and pricing actions suggest a margin recovery from fiscal 2023 and Unilever's valuation is attractive with the shares trading at a 15% discount to peers. 

At the end of the second quarter of 2022, 21 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $813 million in Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL), compared to 23 the preceding quarter worth $1.1 billion.

In addition to McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS), and Bloomin' Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLMN), Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) is one of the best ice cream stocks to buy according to hedge funds. 

In its Q2 2022 investor letter, Polen Capital, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) was one of them. Here is what the fund said:

“Multinational consumer goods company Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) showed robust price increases overall, with minimal impact on volume, resulting in faster-than-expected sales growth during the quarter. Indeed, higher inflation can be a positive change for companies with favorable brands like Unilever as these conditions make it easier for the biggest brands to raise prices, continue spending on advertising, and take share. We believe the appointment of an activist investor to Unilever’s board in June will help spur additional growth.”

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Disclosure. None. 10 Best Ice Cream Stocks To Buy Now is originally published on Insider Monkey.