4 Companies You Won't Believe Are Publicly Traded

Zacks Investment Research

A small handful of multinational conglomerates seemingly own almost every major consumer packaged goods brand, food company, or restaurant chain—yet some big-name brands and firms have managed to survive, sometimes for decades, all on their own.

Nestle (NSRGY - Free Report) , PepsiCo (PEP - Free Report) , Coca-Cola (KO - Free Report) , Kraft-Heinz (KHC - Free Report) , Unilever (UN - Free Report) , General Mills (GIS - Free Report) , Yum! Brands (YUM - Free Report) , and an array other firms dominate consumer-facing industries, snatching up brands left and right. The reach of these multibillion-dollar companies is greater than ever, especially as some of the largest companies begin to join forces in order to compete long-term on a grand scale.

But there will always be companies that avoid being swallowed up by brands for various reasons, especially if their stocks are performing well and their bottom lines continue to grow.

Now let’s look at four companies that are almost certainly household names throughout the U.S. that many people might find hard to believe are still their own publicly traded firms.

Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. (TR)

Little tiny Tootsie Rolls have been staples in Halloween baskets for decades. But the candy company’s success might make investors think it got scooped up by a candy giant, such as Mars, years ago. On the contrary, Tootsie Roll has turned into a bit of a powerhouse itself.

The company now boasts an array of different candy brands—from Blow Pop and Caramel Apple Pops to Dots and even Junior Mints. With a market cap of $2.38 billion, shares of Tootsie Roll have climbed steadily in recent years. The candy power’s stock now sits just a few dollars below its all-time high of $40.44 per share and has popped from under $20 a share just over five years ago.

The Clorox Company (CLX - Free Report)

Like Tootsie Roll, Clorox has turned itself into a bit of a conglomerate. The cleaning company’s brands include Green Works, Pine-Sol, Glad, 409, and others. With a market cap of nearly $17 billion, the company is certainly not small and wouldn’t be easily acquired, but with giants such as Procter & Gamble (PG) and Kimberly-Clark (KMB - Free Report) out there lurking, it is a testament to the company’s strength that it still stands on its own.

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