Hillshire Brands Co (HSH): Today's Featured Food & Beverage Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Hillshire Brands ( HSH) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Hillshire Brands fell 26 cents (-1%) to $25.50 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.1 million shares of Hillshire Brands exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $25.47-$25.84 after having opened the day at $25.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.76. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: MGP Ingredients ( MGPI), down 5.1%, American Lorain ( ALN), down 3.5%, SkyPeople Fruit Juice ( SPU), down 3.4%, and Crumbs Bake Shop ( CRMB), down 2.6%.

Hillshire Brands Company engages in the manufacture and marketing of a range of branded packaged meat and bakery products for the retail and foodservice markets worldwide. Hillshire Brands has a market cap of $2.99 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 108.8, below the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio of 125.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 388.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Hillshire Brands a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hillshire Brands as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income.

On the positive front, China Marine Food Group ( CMFO), up 9.3%, Castle Brands Incorporated ( ROX), up 7.4%, Coca-Cola Femsa S.A.B. de C.V ( KOF), up 5.5%, and Tianli Agritech ( OINK), up 5.3%, were all gainers within the food & beverage industry with Beam ( BEAM) being today's featured food & beverage industry leader.

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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