NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Monster Beverage (Nasdaq: MNST) were gapping up Thursday morning with an open price 13.3% higher than Wednesday's closing price. The stock closed at $65.31 Wednesday and opened today's trading at $73.98. The average volume for Monster Beverage has been 1.6 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Monster Beverage has a market cap of $11.54 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and food & beverage industry. Shares are up 41.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Monster Beverage Corporation, through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, sells, and distributes alternative beverage category beverages in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 42.8, equal to the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. 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. You can view the full Monster Beverage Ratings Report. Get more investment ideas from our investment research center.