Helios Nutrition Brand: http://www.heliosnutrition.com/ Overview:
* America's leading supplier of the healthy cultured dairy product known as Kefir. Lifeway offers 12 different flavors of its Kefir beverage, Organic Kefir and SoyTreat (a soy based kefir). Recently introduced a series of innovative new products such as pomegranate kefir, Greek-style kefir, a children's line of organic kefir products called ProBugs (TM) in a no-spill pouch in kid-friendly flavors like Orange Creamy Crawler and Sublime Slime Lime, and a line of organic whole milk kefir.
* Lifeway also produces a line of products marketed in U.S. Hispanic communities, called La Fruta Drinkable Yogurt (yogurt drinks distinct from kefir).
* In addition to its line of Kefir products, the company produces a variety of cheese products and recently introduced a line of organic pudding called It's Pudding.
* Lifeway was named Fortune Small Business' 94th Fastest Growing Small Business for the third straight year, SEC Filings: http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?action=getcompany&CIK=0000814586 Share Data:
* 16.9 million shares outstanding
* Shares sold short: http://www.nasdaqtrader.com/asp/short_interest_resp.asp?searchby=Detail&IssueID=13440
* Danone (NYSE: DA, as in yogurt) holds around 20%. Kefir Info:
Kefir is a delicious creamy, yogurt-like drink.
Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich functional food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your "inner ecosystem." More nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, it supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins.
• Regular use of Kefir has been shown to promote weight loss.
• Kefir is used to restore the inner eco-system after antibiotic or sulfamides use, because protective intestinal flora may be totally destroyed during such treatments.
• Kefir is excellent nourishment for pregnant and nursing women, the elderly, and those with compromised immunity.
• Kefir is the most favorable milk product for people suffering from genetically stipulated lactose intolerance.
• Kefir stimulates protein digestion and appetite, decreases the cholesterol content in blood, improves salivation, and excretion of stomach and pancreatic enzymes and peristalsis.
• Kefir consumption stimulates microphage production and improves immunity. It has a favorable effect on the resistance of humans to catching colds and other diseases.
In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves.
Kefir's ample supply of phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.
Kefir is rich in Vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B Vitamin which aids the body's assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The numerous benefits of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity.
The regular use of kefir can help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system. In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity. Kefir can also help eliminate unhealthy food cravings by making the body more nourished and balanced. Better Than Yogurt Because:
• Contains fewer calories than regular yogurt. Kefir is often used as a weight loss product due to its ability to curb appetite, low-fat content, and it is rich in nutrients that promote fat loss.
• Kefir costs 3-5 cents per ounce lower than drinkable yogurt.
• Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.
• Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species.
• Kefir contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.
• Kefir's active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy.
• Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, invalids and the elderly, as well as a remedy for digestive disorders. Competition:
Lifeway now has no credible competition in the U.S. kefir market. Potential competitors are either geographically distant -- such as Russia's Wimm-Bill-Dann (NYSE: WBD); contractually forbidden from competing (note: current contract expires 12/31/07 but is typically renewed each year) -- France's Danone (NYSE: DA); or apparently uninterested in this growing subset of the dairy market -- America's Dean Foods (NYSE: DF). That lack of competition means that any sales in this market are Lifeway's for the taking. In addition, the firm can charge whatever price the market will bear, creating little to no pressure on the firm's net margins.
*Due to its unique microbial composition, Lifeway Kefir is the only real Kefir in the U.S. Kefir falls under the Class II
Milk is important food additive in making Kefir. http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/2?area=US&tab=prices&grid=true
Futures: http://futures.tradingcharts.com/marketquotes/DA.html Analyst Reports:
•Taglich Brothers Research Report - rated at Speculative Buy: http://www.taglichbrothers.com Meet Ms. Julie Smolyansky, CEO of LifeWay: