3 Stocks Boosting The Food & Beverage Industry Higher

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.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 68 points (0.4%) at 16,974 as of Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,593 issues advancing vs. 1,369 declining with 158 unchanged.

The Food & Beverage industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.5%. Top gainers within the Food & Beverage industry included Golden ( GLDC), up 1.8%, Leading Brands ( LBIX), up 3.9%, Agria ( GRO), up 2.4%, Rocky Mountain Chocolate ( RMCF), up 1.6% and Reeds ( REED), up 2.4%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Rocky Mountain Chocolate ( RMCF) is one of the companies that pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today. Rocky Mountain Chocolate was up $0.21 (1.6%) to $13.22 on light volume. Throughout the day, 5,613 shares of Rocky Mountain Chocolate exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $13.04-$13.34 after having opened the day at $13.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.01.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. operates as a confectionery franchisor, manufacturer, and retail operator. Rocky Mountain Chocolate has a market cap of $83.0 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 12.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Rocky Mountain Chocolate a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Rocky Mountain Chocolate as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on RMCF go as follows:

  • RMCF's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.31, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.47, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHOC FACT INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHOC FACT INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.69 versus $0.24 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.86 versus $0.69).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food Products industry. The net income increased by 1447.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.10 million to $1.49 million.
  • 35.89% is the gross profit margin for ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHOC FACT INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 13.43% is above that of the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Ratings Report

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

At the close, Agria ( GRO) was up $0.03 (2.4%) to $1.35 on average volume. Throughout the day, 36,800 shares of Agria exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 35,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.30-$1.38 after having opened the day at $1.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.32.

Agria has a market cap of $72.6 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 10.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on GRO go as follows:

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Agria Ratings Report

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

Leading Brands ( LBIX) was another company that pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today. Leading Brands was up $0.18 (3.9%) to $4.75 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 10,789 shares of Leading Brands exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $4.46-$4.77 after having opened the day at $4.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.57.

Leading Brands, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the development, production, marketing, and distribution of beverages in Canada, the western United States, and Asia. Leading Brands has a market cap of $13.8 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 22.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Leading Brands a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Leading Brands as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LBIX go as follows:

  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, LBIX's share price has jumped by 35.14%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Although LBIX had significant growth over the past year, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock at the current time.
  • LBIX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.01 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.42, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 39.63% is the gross profit margin for LEADING BRANDS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.75% is in-line with the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Beverages industry and the overall market, LEADING BRANDS INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Beverages industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 48.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.04 million to -$0.06 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Leading Brands Ratings Report

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

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.

More from Markets

Apple and GE Switch Roles; Musk's Super Control of Tesla Explained -- ICYMI

Apple and GE Switch Roles; Musk's Super Control of Tesla Explained -- ICYMI

Trump May Be More to Blame For Higher Oil Prices Than OPEC

Trump May Be More to Blame For Higher Oil Prices Than OPEC

Dow Falls Over 200 Points as Apple's Slump Offsets Gains in General Electric

Dow Falls Over 200 Points as Apple's Slump Offsets Gains in General Electric

Week Ahead: Major Earnings on Tap as Wall Street Readies for Geopolitical Moves

Week Ahead: Major Earnings on Tap as Wall Street Readies for Geopolitical Moves

3 Hot Reads From TheStreet's Top Premium Columnists

3 Hot Reads From TheStreet's Top Premium Columnists