It is the ultimate bunker portfolio.Amid the market tumult, a handful of stocks have seen their share prices ratchet up to record highs in recent weeks. And many of them are connected by a curious, if disconcerting, thread: Between them, they provide an investor with essentials for any respectable fallout shelter—makers of bottled water, canned goods, dehydrated broth, gas masks and auxiliary generators.
A portfolio of the 18 companies that reached their peaks in the past month would be up about 24% this year, compared with the broader market's 4.5% decline, a sign some investors may be taking the prospects of financial Armageddon more seriously than one might think.
Hormel Foods Inc., the 120-year-old producer of that dugout staple, Spam, is up 12% this year, and hit an all-time high of $43.95 in recent weeks. The company's stable of long-life provisions, from instant packets of dehydrated broth to wrapped sausages, are critical for weathering even the most prolonged storm.
Bottled-drink maker Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., whose brands include DejaBlue purified drinking water, has soared 32% this year. The company also makes Schweppes ginger ale, great for any gnawing queasiness.
Also in the bunker club, Cummins Inc. The maker of a wide range of auxiliary power generators in addition to truck engines is up 66% this year. Shares of the Columbus, Ind., manufacturer hit a record $81.83 last Wednesday.
Hard hats and gas masks? Airgas Inc. makes both. Shares of the Radnor, Pa.-based company, which spiked in February after a hostile bid from rival Air Products & Chemicals Inc., has since added to those gains, hitting its best-ever close, at $66.72, on Friday.
"If it's the end of the world, what do you buy? Canned foods, guns and the generators," said Keith Springer, president of Capital Financial Advisory Services. "There are a huge number of people who feel this is the end of the world."