The Hershey Company (HSY): Today's Featured Food & Beverage 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.

Hershey Company ( HSY) pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today making it today's featured food & beverage winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Hershey Company rose $2.05 (2.1%) to $100.00 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,044,047 shares of Hershey Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 734,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $98.14-$100.22 after having opened the day at $98.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $97.95. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that increased today were: S&W Seed Company ( SANW), up 8.0%, Omega Protein Corporation ( OME), up 7.8%, Coffee Holding Company ( JVA), up 7.7% and Reeds ( REED), up 6.6%.

The Hershey Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in manufacturing, marketing, selling, and distributing various chocolate and confectionery products, pantry items, and gum and mint refreshment products worldwide. Hershey Company has a market cap of $16.2 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Hershey Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hershey Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance 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, Crumbs Bake Shop ( CRMB), down 11.6%, Inventure Foods ( SNAK), down 2.6%, Diamond Foods ( DMND), down 2.3% and Agria Corporation ( GRO), down 2.2% , were all laggards within the food & beverage industry with Bunge ( BG) being today's food & beverage industry laggard.

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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