Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD): Today's Featured Consumer Goods Laggard

Smithfield Foods ( SFD) pushed the Consumer Goods sector lower today making it today's featured Consumer Goods laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Smithfield Foods fell 41 cents (-2.2%) to $18.42 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.4 million shares of Smithfield Foods exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $18.35-$18.86 after having opened the day at $18.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.83. Other companies within the Consumer Goods sector that declined today were: ACCO Brands ( ACCO), down 14.7%, Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide ( QTWW), down 10.4%, STR Holdings ( STRI), down 10.4%, and Monster Beverage ( MNST), down 9.7%.

Smithfield Foods, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and marketing of fresh meat and packaged meat products in the United States and internationally. Smithfield Foods has a market cap of $2.76 billion and is part of the food & beverage industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.1, 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 22.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate Smithfield Foods a buy, two 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 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, Mobile Mini ( MINI), up 23.3%, Elizabeth Arden ( RDEN), up 13%, Tandy Brands Accessories ( TBAC), up 10.8%, and Jones Soda Company ( JSDA), up 10%, were all gainers within the consumer goods sector with Navistar International ( NAV) being today's featured consumer goods sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the consumer goods sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Goods ( IYK) while those bearish on the consumer goods sector could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).