HJ Heinz Company ( HNZ) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage loser. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, HJ Heinz Company fell 31 cents (-0.6%) to $53.55 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.5 million shares of HJ Heinz Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $52.50-$53.64 after having opened the day at $52.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.86. Other company's within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: Peet's Coffee & Tea ( PEET), down 6.1%, Feihe International ( ADY), down 5.7%, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A ( CCH), down 4.1%, and Central European Distribution ( CEDC), down 4.1%.

H. J. Heinz Company manufactures and markets food products for consumers, and foodservice and institutional customers in North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, and internationally. HJ Heinz Company has a market cap of $17.29 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18, equal to the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate HJ Heinz Company a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HJ Heinz Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Tianli Agritech ( OINK), up 9.3%, Origin Agritech ( SEED), up 8%, Flowers Foods ( FLO), up 7.2%, and Craft Brew Alliance ( BREW), up 5.8%, were all gainers within the food & beverage industry with PepsiCo ( PEP) being today's featured food & beverage industry winner.

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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