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We'll Drink to That

For a spinoff company with bright prospects, consider Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

Spinoff companies can make attractive investment opportunities for a variety of reasons: new growth opportunities, more-focused management, share-price inefficiency as the shareholder base changes and even the "sandbag" factor -- that is, the tendency for management at spinoff companies to try to set expectations low and then beat them.

The latest issue of our newsletter SuperInvestor Insight, which uses Securities and Exchange Commission filings to track the investment activity of 30 superior investors, identified one spinoff that has recently attracted significant buying interest among these top investors: Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS).

Split off from Cadbury in May, Dr Pepper is the third-largest beverage company in North America, with estimated annual revenues of $5.9 billion and a brand portfolio that includes Dr Pepper, 7Up, Sunkist, AW, Snapple, Mott's and Hawaiian Punch.

Although the company has its work cut out for it to compete with behemoths Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, it still has room to expand distribution for its products and is investing in doing so. Product innovation, as well as cost-cutting from recent acquisitions, should help.


At a mid-September price of $25, Dr Pepper shares trade at only 13 times expected 2008 earnings, in line with multiples for pure-play bottlers, such as Pepsi Bottling Group, but far less than the multiples of 20 accorded the concentrate-focused Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

As for sandbagging: In its first two quarters as a public company, Dr Pepper beat expectations, and in August management raised its earnings guidance.

SEE ALSO: Improving Your Odds

Columnists Whitney Tilson and John Heins co-edit ValueInvestor Insight and SuperInvestor Insight. Funds co-managed by Tilson own shares of Dr Pepper Snapple Group.