Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD): Today's Featured Food & Beverage Loser

Smithfield Foods ( SFD) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage loser. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Smithfield Foods fell $1.11 (-5.7%) to $18.46 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 9.1 million shares of Smithfield Foods exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $17.92-$19 after having opened the day at $18.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.57. Other company's within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: Agria Corporation ( GRO), down 8.9%, Le Gaga Holdings ( GAGA), down 5.6%, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR), down 5.4%, and Coffee Holding Company ( JVA), down 4.9%.

Smithfield Foods, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and marketing of fresh meat and packaged meats products in the United States and internationally. Smithfield Foods has a market cap of $3.1 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, equal to the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 21.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Smithfield Foods a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Smithfield Foods as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A ( CCH), up 7.9%, Seneca Foods ( SENEA), up 7.7%, Smart Balance ( SMBL), up 6.3%, and Griffin Land & Nurseries ( GRIF), up 4.8%, 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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