Universal Corporation

(

UVV

) pushed the Tobacco industry lower today making it today's featured Tobacco loser. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Universal Corporation fell 42 cents (-0.9%) to $44.08 on light volume. Throughout the day, 101,401 shares of Universal Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 268,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $44.01-$45.06 after having opened the day at $44.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.50.

Universal Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as a leaf tobacco merchant and processor primarily in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Universal Corporation has a market cap of $1.05 billion and is part of the

consumer goods

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.9, below the average tobacco industry P/E ratio of 16.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Universal as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the tobacco industry could consider

PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage

(

PBJ

) while those bearish on the tobacco industry could consider

PowerShares DB Agriculture Sht ETN

(

ADZ

).

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