Hillshire Brands Co (HSH): Today's Featured Consumer Goods 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 Consumer Goods sector lower today making it today's featured Consumer Goods laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Hillshire Brands fell 34 cents (-1.2%) to $27 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.6 million shares of Hillshire Brands exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $26.76-$27.35 after having opened the day at $26.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.34. Other companies within the Consumer Goods sector that declined today were: Cereplast ( CERP), down 16.2%, Stoneridge ( SRI), down 14.3%, Tianli Agritech ( OINK), down 9.3%, and ATC Venture Group ( ATC), down 8%.
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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 $3.31 billion and is part of the food & beverage industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 108.8, above the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio of 3.8 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 Friday. 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 increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, MGP Ingredients ( MGPI), up 16.5%, Tufco Technologies ( TFCO), up 10.1%, Castle Brands Incorporated ( ROX), up 10%, and Kid Brands ( KID), up 8.7%, were all gainers within the consumer goods sector with Church & Dwight Company ( CHD) 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).

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