General Mills Inc. (GIS): Today's Featured Consumer Goods Winner

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

General Mills ( GIS) pushed the Consumer Goods sector higher today making it today's featured consumer goods winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, General Mills rose $0.52 (1.1%) to $49.82 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,292,934 shares of General Mills exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,287,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $49.35-$49.93 after having opened the day at $49.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.30. Other companies within the Consumer Goods sector that increased today were: Castle Brands Incorporated ( ROX), up 16.7%, Furniture Brands International ( FBN), up 8.0%, China Shengda Packaging Group ( CPGI), up 6.8% and Skullcandy ( SKUL), up 6.3%.

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 $31.5 billion and is part of the food & beverage industry. Shares are up 21.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate General Mills a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 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 negative front, STR Holdings ( STRI), down 9.7%, Verso Paper ( VRS), down 7.5%, Orient Paper ( ONP), down 6.3% and Fuwei Films (Holdings ( FFHL), down 5.9%.

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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