Mario Gabelli
Mario Gabelli
Founder, GAMCO Investors

Pick: Smart Balance (SMBL)

Mario Gabelli was one of the first big names in mutual funds. Today the firm he founded, GAMCO Investors, manages $37 billion, and he runs 16 funds, including Gabelli Small Cap Growth (GABSX) and GAMCO Westwood Mighty Mites (WEMMX), both of which have returned yearly averages of more than 8% for the past decade (vs. 6.2% for the small blend category). His pick, Smart Balance, held in both of those funds, serves the lucrative health food market. Under Stephen Hughes, who nurtured hit brands like Celestial Seasonings, Smart Balance is expanding via acquisitions, from heart-healthy buttery spreads to increasingly popular gluten-free snacks and baked goods. The stock trades for a lofty 45 times its most recent 12-month earnings. But Gabelli sees accelerating profit growth ahead as Smart Balance incorporates its latest acquisition and more people are diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. He notes: "Health and wellness has been a theme of ours for the past 10 years and will continue to be a theme for quite some time."


By Katie Benner, Ryan Derousseau, Amy Feldman, and Mina Kimes @FortuneMagazine - Last updated June 20 2012: 10:46 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Most Popular

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.