A Sweet Deal: Chocolate Found to Reduce Stroke Risk for Men

Some delicious news arrived from many media sources this week, at least if you are a chocolate lover and a man between the ages of 45 and 79. A new, decade-long Swedish study of 37,000 Swedish men to be published in the journal Neurology made headlines all over the world when it showed that eating chocolate can actually reduce their risk of having a stroke.

Photo courtesy of weightworld.com

Of course, the Stroke Association  was quick to warn that the study’s findings “were not an excuse  to overeat chocolate,” according to the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19402143), and that it needed to be part of a healthy, balanced diet. The study split the men into four groups with one group eating no chocolate and the others eating progressively more with the top group eating about 63 grams a week, “slightly more than an average bar,” according to the BBC story.

The benefits apparently come from the flavonoids in chocolate that “appear to be protective against cardiovascular disease through antioxidant, anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties,” the BBC quoted Swedish researchers as concluding. According to Wikipedia, flavonoids used to be called Vitamin P “due to the effect they had on the permeability of vascular capillaries.”

Anyway, there’s a small cap story in all this. We found six small cap chocolate or confectionery companies that may or may not be delivering high quantities of flavonoids in their products. You’ll need to do that research.

Durango, CO-based Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (Nasdaq: RMCF, http://www.rmcf.com/) is a confectionery manufacturer, franchisor and retailer and also operates and franchises self-serve frozen yogurt retail outlets. It produces about 300 chocolate candies and other confectionery products.  The chocolate news hasn’t seemed to have a substantial effect on RMCF stock. It’s 52-week trading range is $7.14-$13.97 and its market cap is about $75 million. It closed Sept. 7 at $12.41, down 8 cents on the day.

Los Angeles-based Reed’s Inc. (Nasdaq: REED, http://www.reedsinc.com/) makes and sells soft drinks, New Age beverages, candies and ice cream. The company was originally known as Original Beverage Co. and changed its name to Reeds in 2001. Its 52-week range is $1.10-$7.20 and market cap is about $80 million. It closed Sept. 7 near the top of its best price of the year at $6.78, down 21 cents for the day.

Calabasas Hills, CA-based The Cheesecake Factory (Nasdaq: CAKE, http://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/) operates 173 upscale restaurants and two bakery production facilities where it sells cheesecakes and other baked products. Of the restaurants, 153 operate under The Cheesecake Factory name, 14 as Grand Luxe Cafe and one RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen. CAKE’s 52-week trading range is $23.65-$34.90 and market cap is about $1.8 billion. It closed Sept. 7 at the very top of the range, at $34.82, up 28 cents for the day.

Winston-Salem, NC-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (NYSE: KKD, http://www.krispykreme.com/) operates doughnut shops and retails a variety of foods, sweets and beverages worldwide. The company was founded in 1937 and now has stores in 29 states and 20 countries. KKD’s 52-week trading range is $5.78-$8.77 and market cap is about $499 million. It closed Sept. 4 at $7.47, up 1 cent for the day.

Germany-based Halloren Schokoladen (ETR: H2R, http://www.halloren.de/) is a chocolate factory based in Germany. Its main product is the Hallorenkugel, a chocolate globe made in many flavors, but it also produces 180 chocolate products, chocolate bars, chocolate-coated jellies and rum balls. It also owns and operates a chocolate museum in Halle. It’s 52-week trading range is (all prices in Euros) 4.69-7.01 and market cap is 28 million. It closed Sept. 7 at 6.26.

Chicago-based Tootsie Roll Industries (NYSE: TR, http://www.tootsie.com/) manufactures and sells a variety of confectionery products distributed through about 65 candy and grocer brokers and by the company to about 15,000 customers throughout the US. The company also has production plants in Canada and Mexico that sell products in their respective countries. TR’s 52-week trading range is $21.63-$26.45 and its market cap is $1.5 billion. It closed Sept. 7 at $26.32, up 15 cents for the day.


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