ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG): Today's Featured Food & Beverage Winner

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.

ConAgra Foods ( CAG) 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, ConAgra Foods rose 43 cents (1.5%) to $28.32 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.8 million shares of ConAgra Foods exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $27.93-$28.32 after having opened the day at $28.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.89. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that increased today were: Corn Products International ( CPO), up 7.9%, Ingredion ( INGR), up 7.9%, Central European Distribution ( CEDC), up 7.4%, and Pilgrims Pride ( PPC), up 6%.
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ConAgra Foods, Inc. operates as a food company primarily in North America. The company operates through two segments, Consumer Foods and Commercial Foods. ConAgra Foods has a market cap of $11.46 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, above the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio of 18.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are six analysts that rate ConAgra Foods a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ConAgra 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 net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Primo Water ( PRMW), down 6.8%, Tianli Agritech ( OINK), down 5.1%, Willamette Valley Vineyards ( WVVI), down 4.7%, and Castle Brands Incorporated ( ROX), down 4.7%, were all laggards within the food & beverage industry with Mead Johnson Nutrition Company ( MJN) being today's food & beverage industry laggard.

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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