HJ Heinz Company (HNZ): 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.

HJ Heinz Company ( HNZ) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, HJ Heinz Company fell 89 cents (-1.5%) to $57.54 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.9 million shares of HJ Heinz Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $57.28-$57.80 after having opened the day at $57.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.43. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: MGP Ingredients ( MGPI), down 5.7%, Annie's ( BNNY), down 5.5%, China Marine Food Group ( CMFO), down 4.7%, and WhiteWave Foods ( WWAV), down 3.4%.
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H. J. Heinz Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets food products for consumers, and foodservice and institutional customers in North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, and internationally. HJ Heinz Company has a market cap of $18.48 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate HJ Heinz Company a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HJ Heinz Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Zhongpin ( HOGS), up 15.1%, Smart Balance ( SMBL), up 8.8%, Tianli Agritech ( OINK), up 6.9%, and Pilgrims Pride ( PPC), up 6%, were all gainers within the food & beverage industry with BRF - Brasil Foods ( BRFS) 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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