Coca-Cola Co (KO): Today's Featured Food & Beverage Laggard

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.

Coca-Cola ( KO) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Coca-Cola fell $0.54 (-1.3%) to $39.83 on average volume. Throughout the day, 17,969,076 shares of Coca-Cola exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14,997,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $39.80-$40.40 after having opened the day at $40.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.37. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: Cresud ( CRESY), down 4.7%, Amira Nature Foods ( ANFI), down 4.0%, Gruma S.A.B. de C.V ( GMK), down 3.3% and John B. Sanfilippo & Son ( JBSS), down 3.2%.

The Coca-Cola Company, a beverage company, engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. The company primarily offers sparkling beverages and still beverages. Coca-Cola has a market cap of $178.2 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Coca-Cola a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Coca-Cola as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. 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, Tianli Agritech ( OINK), up 10.0%, Lifeway Foods ( LWAY), up 5.0%, Reeds ( REED), up 3.8% and SkyPeople Fruit Juice ( SPU), up 3.4%.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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