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

.

Monster Beverage

(

MNST

) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Monster Beverage fell $1.66 (-2.7%) to $59.65 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.9 million shares of Monster Beverage exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $59.38-$61.16 after having opened the day at $61.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.31. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were:

S&W Seed Company

(

SANW

), down 8.6%,

Primo Water

(

PRMW

), down 5.1%,

Jones Soda Company

(

JSDA

), down 5.1%, and

China Marine Food Group

(

CMFO

), down 4.8%.

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Monster Beverage Corporation, through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, sells, and distributes alternative beverage category beverages in the United States and internationally. Monster Beverage has a market cap of $11.94 billion and is part of the

consumer goods

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.9, below the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio of 41.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 31.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Monster Beverage a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monster Beverage as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

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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