Ecolab Inc. (ECL): 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.

Ecolab ( ECL) pushed the Consumer Goods sector higher today making it today's featured consumer goods winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Ecolab rose $1.16 (1.2%) to $96.85 on light volume. Throughout the day, 670,444 shares of Ecolab exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 996,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $96.00-$97.33 after having opened the day at $96.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $95.69. Other companies within the Consumer Goods sector that increased today were: Boise ( BZ), up 26.1%, Mannatech ( MTEX), up 16.4%, Verso Paper ( VRS), up 14.4% and China Xiniya Fashion ( XNY), up 14.1%.

Produces cleaning and sanitation chemicals. Also provides cleaning and sanitzing services for the hospitality, food services, and light industrial markets. Ecolab has a market cap of $28.9 billion and is part of the consumer non-durables industry. Shares are up 33.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Ecolab a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ecolab as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, 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 generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, American Lorain ( ALN), down 8.6%, CTI Industries Corporation ( CTIB), down 8.2%, China Marine Food Group ( CMFO), down 7.8% and Mercer International ( MERC), down 6.9% , were all laggards within the consumer goods sector with Fossil Group ( FOSL) being today's consumer goods sector laggard.

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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