The Hershey Company (HSY): 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.

Hershey Company ( HSY) pushed the Food & Beverage industry lower today making it today's featured Food & Beverage laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Hershey Company fell $2.81 (-2.8%) to $98.91 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,921,467 shares of Hershey Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,106,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $98.40-$100.59 after having opened the day at $99.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.72. Other companies within the Food & Beverage industry that declined today were: Crumbs Bake Shop ( CRMB), down 4.2%, Leading Brands ( LBIX), down 3.4%, Agria Corporation ( GRO), down 3.4% and Castle Brands ( ROX), down 3.2%.

The Hershey Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells chocolate and sugar confectionery products, pantry items, and gum and mint refreshment products. Hershey Company has a market cap of $16.8 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the positive front, Origin Agritech ( SEED), up 7.5%, Griffin Land & Nurseries ( GRIF), up 4.5%, Tofutti Brands ( TOF), up 4.4% and China New Borun Corporation ( BORN), up 3.5% , were all gainers within the food & beverage industry with Monster Beverage ( MNST) 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).

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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