Monster Beverage ( MNST) pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today making it today's featured food & beverage winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Monster Beverage rose $2.33 (3%) to $78.64 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.1 million shares of Monster Beverage exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $76.13-$78.80 after having opened the day at $76.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.31. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that increased today were: Seneca Foods ( SENEB), up 12.9%, Jones Soda Company ( JSDA), up 10.4%, Central Garden & Pet Company ( CENTA), up 6%, and Tofutti Brands ( TOF), up 4.7%. Monster Beverage Corporation, through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, sells, and distributes alternative beverage category beverages in the United States and internationally. Monster Beverage has a market cap of $13.18 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 45.3, below the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio of 45.5 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 58.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Monster Beverage a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold. 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.