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Hillshire Brands Co (HSH): Today's Featured Food & Beverage Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Hillshire Brands ( HSH) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Hillshire Brands fell $0.40 (-1.2%) to $33.13 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,648,585 shares of Hillshire Brands exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,215,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $32.80-$33.52 after having opened the day at $33.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.53. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: Coffee Holding Company ( JVA), down 8.5%, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A ( CCH), down 6.7%, Tofutti Brands ( TOF), down 3.4% and Crumbs Bake Shop ( CRMB), down 3.0%.

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The Hillshire Brands Company engages in the manufacture and marketing of meat-centric food solutions for the retail and foodservice markets worldwide. Hillshire Brands has a market cap of $4.2 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 50.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Hillshire Brands a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hillshire Brands as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Primo Water ( PRMW), down 9.6%, Kraft Foods Group ( KRFT), down 4.8%, Lifeway Foods ( LWAY), down 3.4% and MGP Ingredients ( MGPI), down 3.4% , were all gainers within the food & beverage industry with General Mills ( GIS) being today's featured food & beverage industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the food & beverage industry could consider PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage ( PBJ) while those bearish on the food & beverage industry could consider PowerShares DB Agriculture Sht ETN ( ADZ).

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