ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Shares of Kraft (NasdaqGS: KRFT) are up more than 40% today on news that the maker of Jell-O, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and other iconic brands will merge with ketchup giant H.J. Heinz to create the world’s fifth-largest food company.

“Kraft stockholders would get one share in the combined company, to be called the Kraft Heinz Co, and a special cash dividend of $16.50 for every share held,” according to Reuters.

Heinz was acquired by Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) in 2013. Berkshire and 3G will fund a $10 billion special dividend to Kraft shareholders as part of the merger, which was initially valued at $36 billion. The combined company will be publicly traded.

Some narrowly focused exchange traded funds are benefiting from news of the Kraft/Heinz marriage, though the list is small because at the end of trading Tuesday, just eight ETFs featured Kraft as a top 10 holding according to S&P Capital IQ data.

Among those ETFs is the PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage Portfolio (NYSEArca: PBJ), which is up 1.6% today. As of March 24, PBJ had a 4.7% weight to Kraft, making the stock the ETF’s eighth-largest holding.

PBJ tracks the Dynamic Food & Beverage Intellidex Index, which evaluates possible constituents based on earnings and price momentum while also employing a quality filter and screening for management action and value. Home to nearly $253 million in assets under management, PBJ is up 6% this year compared to a 1.7% gain for the Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: VDC). PBJ’s other top 10 holdings include Starbucks (NasdaqGS: SBUX), General Mills (NYSE: GIS) and Pepsico (NYSE: PEP). [Jack in the Box Lifts This ETF]

In a note out today, S&P Capital IQ said of Kraft: “We raise our 12-month target by $15 to $89, supported by a price-to-sales multiple of 3.0X, above the peer average of 2.4X, applied to pro-forma ’14 revenues of $29.1 billion. KRFT agrees to merge with food manufacturer H.J. Heinz, to form a new publicly traded company to be named The Kraft Heinz Company. KRFT shareholders would own 49% of the new firm and receive a special cash dividend of $16.50/share. We see the significant cost-synergy potential and international revenue-growth opportunities. We expect the deal to be completed in the second half of ’15, pending approvals.”

Another ETF getting a lift from the Heinz/Kraft combination is one that might surprise some investors: The Guggenheim Spin-Off ETF (NYSEArca: CSD). CSD tracks the Beacon Spin-off Index, which “defines a spin-off company as any company resulting from either of the following events: a spin-off distribution of stock of a subsidiary company by its parent company to parent company shareholders or equity ‘carve-outs’ or ‘partial initial public offerings’ in which a parent company sells a percentage of the equity of a subsidiary to public shareholders,” according to Guggenheim.

As a result of Kraft’s 2012 spin-off from Mondelez International (NasdaqGS: MDLZ), the former qualifies for admission into CSD. Kraft is CSD’s ninth-largest holding at a weight of 4.4%.

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