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 up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Coca-Cola fell $1.46 (-3.8%) to $37.47 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 45,912,532 shares of Coca-Cola exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14,701,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $37.26-$38.11 after having opened the day at $37.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.93. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: Fresh Del Monte Produce ( FDP), down 5.1%, S&W Seed Company ( SANW), down 4.4%, Cosan ( CZZ), down 4.3% and American Lorain ( ALN), down 3.5%.

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 $171.9 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 5.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 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 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, Castle Brands Incorporated ( ROX), up 16.7%, Crumbs Bake Shop ( CRMB), up 7.1%, Crystal Rock Holdings ( CRVP), up 6.3% and Omega Protein Corporation ( OME), up 5.2% , were all gainers within the food & beverage industry with Kraft Foods Group ( KRFT) being today's featured food & beverage industry leader.

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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