Mead Johnson Nutrition Company (MJN): 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.

Mead Johnson Nutrition Company ( MJN) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Mead Johnson Nutrition Company fell $5.98 (-8.6%) to $63.53 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 11.8 million shares of Mead Johnson Nutrition Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $62.51-$65.98 after having opened the day at $65.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.51. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: 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%.
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Mead Johnson Nutrition Company manufactures, distributes, and sells infant formulas, children's nutrition, and other nutritional products. Mead Johnson Nutrition Company has a market cap of $14.26 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.6, equal to the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Mead Johnson Nutrition Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mead Johnson Nutrition Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, 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%, were all gainers within the food & beverage industry with ConAgra Foods ( CAG) 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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