General Mills Inc. (GIS): Today's Featured Food & Beverage Laggard

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General Mills ( GIS) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, General Mills fell $1.17 (-2.3%) to $49.38 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 5,775,214 shares of General Mills exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,295,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $49.13-$50.10 after having opened the day at $49.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.55. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: China New Borun Corporation ( BORN), down 12.8%, Cresud ( CRESY), down 4.4%, Adecoagro ( AGRO), down 4.3% and Diamond Foods ( DMND), down 3.8%.

General Mills, Inc. produces and markets branded consumer foods in the United States and internationally. It also supplies branded and unbranded food products to the foodservice and commercial baking industries. General Mills has a market cap of $33.4 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 25.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate General Mills a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates General Mills as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. 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, Tofutti Brands ( TOF), up 18.2%, China Marine Food Group ( CMFO), up 14.4%, Castle Brands Incorporated ( ROX), up 8.8% and American Lorain ( ALN), up 6.3%.

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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