McCormick & Company Inc. (MKC): Today's Featured Food & Beverage Winner

McCormick & Company ( MKC) pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today making it today's featured food & beverage winner. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, McCormick & Company rose 40 cents (0.7%) to $55.98 on light volume. Throughout the day, 403,125 shares of McCormick & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 571,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $55.59-$56.17 after having opened the day at $55.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.58. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that increased today were: Le Gaga Holdings ( GAGA), up 6.9%, Tofutti Brands ( TOF), up 5.3%, Pilgrims Pride ( PPC), up 4.1%, and Balchem Corporation ( BCPC), up 4%.

McCormick & Company, Incorporated engages in the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of flavor products and other specialty food products to the food industry worldwide. It operates in two segments, Consumer and Industrial. McCormick & Company has a market cap of $6.62 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.9, equal to the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio and above 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 Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate McCormick & Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates McCormick & Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, Castle Brands Incorporated ( ROX), down 8.8%, Reeds ( REED), down 7.2%, Imperial Sugar Company ( IPSU), down 6.7%, and Jones Soda Company ( JSDA), down 5.1%, were all losers within the food & beverage industry with Bunge ( BG) being today's food & beverage industry loser.

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).