A Sunny Forecast for Ruddick

I am always looking for underappreciated constants when trying to identify prospective investment opportunities. How do I define an underappreciated constant? Earlier this week I wrote a column about the connected car. The underappreciated constant was the rapidity in which automakers were bringing the connected car to life beyond the functions offered by Ford's (F) once-cutting-edge SYNC system. Where there is an underappreciated constant in the market, there are often undervalued stocks, because investors have not factored in the earnings power of the items or services a company is selling into an expanding, underappreciated market.

Upon further thought, weather popped into my mind as an ongoing underappreciated constant, specifically, weather that triggers abnormal, positive buying habits by consumers. Regardless of where you stand on global warming (ride your bike to work or gas up the SUV), weather patterns, in my view, have seemed outright odd lately. Massive tornadoes have ripped through the Midwest. Above-average temperatures pretty much existed the entire winter, spurring early consumer demand for full-priced apparel and sports equipment from Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) and early shipment of Zero Turn mowers to home centers from Toro (TTC). Far be it from me to assume the role of legendary weatherman Al Roker, but Mother Nature is sending us a message and I think it's to brace for a volatile 2012 hurricane season....558 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

Read the full story and get access to the Real Money Pro trading floor.

There’s no substitute for a trading floor to get great ideas, so Jim Cramer created a better one at Real Money and blogs there exclusively. We then added legendary hedge fund manager, Doug Kass, with his exclusive Daily Diary and best investing ideas. Staffed with more than 4 dozen investing pros, money managers, journalists and analysts, Real Money Pro gives you a flood of opinions, analysis and actionable trading advice found nowhere else, and allows you to interact directly with each expert.

Already a Subscriber? Please login.

Except as otherwise indicated, quotes are delayed. Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes for all exchanges. Market Data provided by Interactive Data. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings and ratings provided by Zacks. Mutual fund data provided by Valueline. ETF data provided by Lipper. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings updates stock ratings daily. However, if no rating change occurs, the data on this page does not update. The data does update after 90 days if no rating change occurs within that time period.

IDC calculates the Market Cap for the basic symbol to include common shares only. Year-to-date mutual fund returns are calculated on a monthly basis by Value Line and posted mid-month.