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Dean Foods Company (DF): Today's Featured Food & Beverage Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Dean Foods Company (DF) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Dean Foods Company fell $0.82 (-7.4%) to $10.20 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 13,267,390 shares of Dean Foods Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,146,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $9.91-$10.29 after having opened the day at $10.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $11.02. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: Central Garden & Pet Company (CENT), down 15.6%, Central Garden & Pet Company (CENTA), down 14.1%, Castle Brands Incorporated (ROX), down 8.4% and Craft Brew Alliance (BREW), down 4.6%.

Dean Foods Company, a food and beverage company, processes and distributes milk, other fluid dairy products, and plant-based beverages. The company operates in two segments, Fresh Dairy Direct and WhiteWave. Dean Foods Company has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 33.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Dean Foods Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dean Foods Company as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. 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 weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Primo Water (PRMW), up 9.6%, Crumbs Bake Shop (CRMB), up 8.8%, Reeds (REED), up 4.9% and Omega Protein Corporation (OME), up 4.8% , were all gainers within the food & beverage industry with Coca-Cola (CCE) 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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