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3 Stocks Moving The Consumer Goods Sector Upward

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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 158.75 points (-0.9%) at 16,979 as of Thursday, July 17, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 864 issues advancing vs. 2,100 declining with 172 unchanged.

The Consumer Goods sector as a whole closed the day down 1.1% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.1%. Top gainers within the Consumer Goods sector included Golden ( GLDC), up 1.9%, CCA Industries ( CAW), up 2.2%, Verso Paper ( VRS), up 4.9%, Xerium Technologies ( XRM), up 3.6% and Manchester United ( MANU), up 1.7%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

Manchester United ( MANU) is one of the companies that pushed the Consumer Goods sector higher today. Manchester United was up $0.33 (1.7%) to $19.30 on average volume. Throughout the day, 64,522 shares of Manchester United exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 60,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $18.81-$19.67 after having opened the day at $18.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.97.

Manchester United plc, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the ownership and operation of Manchester United Football Club, a professional football club in the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1878 and is based in Manchester, the United Kingdom. Manchester United has a market cap of $739.3 million and is part of the consumer durables industry. Shares are up 19.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Manchester United a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Manchester United as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on MANU go as follows:

  • MANU's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 14.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 63.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MANCHESTER UNITED PLC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, MANCHESTER UNITED PLC increased its bottom line by earning $1.37 versus $0.22 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($17.04 versus $1.37).
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.70, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Despite the fact that MANU's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.57, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for MANCHESTER UNITED PLC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 34.63%. Regardless of MANU's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 9.43% trails the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Manchester United Ratings Report

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