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.

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 1.0%. By the end of trading, Monster Beverage fell $0.97 (-1.4%) to $65.78 on light volume. Throughout the day, 998,203 shares of Monster Beverage exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,521,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $65.38-$67.51 after having opened the day at $67.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.75. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were:

Key Technology

(

KTEC

), down 14.8%,

China New Borun

(

BORN

), down 5.4%,

Farmer Bros

(

FARM

), down 4.4% and

Concha y Toro Winery

(

VCO

), down 4.1%.

Monster Beverage Corporation, through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, sells, and distributes alternative beverage category beverages in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, Direct Store Delivery and Warehouse. Monster Beverage has a market cap of $11.2 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 1.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Monster Beverage a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Monster Beverage

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. 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.

TheStreet Recommends

On the positive front,

Golden

(

GLDC

), up 3.2%,

Cresud

(

CRESY

), up 2.6%,

Crystal Rock Holdings

(

CRVP

), up 2.0% and

SodaStream International

(

SODA

), up 1.9%.

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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