Three Stocks to Buy Before New Year

New Year’s Eve may usher in a new year, but this holiday’s customs stay constant.

For example, the TV lineup rarely changes. Sports take over our televisions. For most households, college football will be on for what seems like days on end. The NBA, which dominates Christmas Day, has tried to wiggle its way into New Year’s … without the same success.

Movies are also a big tradition. James Bond marathons take over cable networks, while movie enthusiasts and families hit the theaters to see the new releases.

But 007 doesn’t air on every channel. Countdown and trivia shows also fill timeslots. They’re the same every year, too. VHI used to show countdown episodes for the entire day. And don’t forget about the biggest countdown of them all – Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

The couch and TV play a critical role during New Year’s celebrations. However, neither tends to be the highlight of the party. That role is (usually) reserved for alcohol.

Though the New Year’s Eve party is still a few nights away, it’s not too early to look into companies that profit from this holiday.

NYE stock #1

Brown-Forman (NYSE: BF-B) is a little-known name with several prominent labels. The company sells products under such brand names as Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, Early Times and Korbel California.

Business has been on a steady uptick over the past several years. More recently, Brown-Forman recorded a 6.1% 2012 annual sales increase to $3.6 billion.

Though the stock is up 33% this year, the shares remain attractive. They trade at 23 times the $2.70 EPS estimate for 2013. The average P/E ratio for the industry is 27, suggesting that this 1.6%-yielding stock may have 17% upside.

NYE stock #2

Diageo (NYSE: DEO) brands are likely to be on every shopper’s list next week Monday.

The company sells under a range of brands including Johnnie Walker Scotch, Crown Royal, J&B Scotch, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Captain Morgan, Baileys Irish Cream and Guinness.

Unless you’re at a non-alcoholic party, one of those spirits is bound to be at the drink table.

Though Diageo has several highly recognizable labels, the stock is attractively priced. Analysts expect EPS of $6.69 this year, resulting in a 19 P/E ratio, which is more than 25% below the distillery industry average.

The shares of this 2.9% high yielder are up 35% this year, besting the S&P 500’s 16% return. The New Year’s Eve parties could send it even higher.

NYE stock #3

Don’t tell Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE: TAP) that New Year’s Eve is reserved for fancy drinks only. Uncertainty surrounding the economy, employment and taxes might make consumers scale back, putting this lower-end beer brand in the limelight on New Year’s Eve.

Aside from the “Silver Bullet,” the company also sells Heineken, Amstel and Miller Lite. For every six pack of nice micro beer, there’s likely to be an 18-pack of Miller floating around.

The beer selection may be on the low end, but the stock shouldn’t be as cheap as it is. The shares trade at only 11 times the analyst $3.85 EPS estimate (AnheuserBusch InBev has a 19 P/E ratio). Moreover, TAP shares yield 2.9% compared to InBev’s 1.5%. Their beer may be on the bottom of the shelf, but the stock should be on the top of your list.

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