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.

Altria Group ( MO) pushed the Consumer Goods sector lower today making it today's featured Consumer Goods laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1%. By the end of trading, Altria Group fell 48 cents (-1.4%) to $32.51 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 18.1 million shares of Altria Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $32.25-$33 after having opened the day at $33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.99. Other companies within the Consumer Goods sector that declined today were: SORL Auto Parts ( SORL), down 7.9%, SGOCO Group ( SGOC), down 7.8%, Gaming Partners International Corporation ( GPIC), down 6.7%, and Mannatech ( MTEX), down 5.6%.
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Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. Altria Group has a market cap of $67.15 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Altria Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Altria Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Standard Register Company ( SR), up 9%, Elecsys Corporation ( ESYS), up 8.6%, DS Healthcare Group ( DSKX), up 8.3%, and Crumbs Bake Shop ( CRMB), up 8.1%, were all gainers within the consumer goods sector with BorgWarner ( BWA) 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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