3 Stocks Raising 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 are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 55.93 points (-0.3%) at 16,507 as of Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,028 issues advancing vs. 2,012 declining with 122 unchanged.

The Food & Beverage industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.1%. Top gainers within the Food & Beverage industry included Crystal Rock Holdings ( CRVP), up 3.9%, Tofutti Brands ( TOF), up 1.9%, National Beverage ( FIZZ), up 2.3%, Inventure Foods ( SNAK), up 2.4% and Craft Brew Alliance ( BREW), up 1.9%.

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

Craft Brew Alliance ( BREW) is one of the companies that pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today. Craft Brew Alliance was up $0.21 (1.9%) to $11.43 on light volume. Throughout the day, 32,484 shares of Craft Brew Alliance exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 81,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $11.23-$11.48 after having opened the day at $11.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $11.22.

Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. is engaged in brewing, marketing, and selling craft beers and ciders under the Kona, Widmer Brothers, Redhook, Omission, and Square Mile brand names in the United States. It operates in two segments, Beer Related Operations and Pubs Operations. Craft Brew Alliance has a market cap of $213.2 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 31.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Craft Brew Alliance 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 Craft Brew Alliance as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on BREW go as follows:

  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust.
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • CRAFT BREW ALLIANCE INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CRAFT BREW ALLIANCE INC reported lower earnings of $0.11 versus $0.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.24 versus $0.11).
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Beverages industry and the overall market, CRAFT BREW ALLIANCE INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CRAFT BREW ALLIANCE INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 31.80%. Regardless of BREW's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, BREW's net profit margin of -0.45% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Craft Brew Alliance 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, Inventure Foods ( SNAK) was up $0.29 (2.4%) to $12.34 on average volume. Throughout the day, 97,351 shares of Inventure Foods exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 75,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $11.94-$12.40 after having opened the day at $12.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.05.

Inventure Foods, Inc. manufactures and markets healthy/natural and indulgent specialty snack food products in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Frozen Products and Snack Products. Inventure Foods has a market cap of $221.4 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 9.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Inventure Foods 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 Inventure Foods as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SNAK go as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 39.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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 51.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.06 million to $1.60 million.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 60.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 27.45% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • INVENTURE FOODS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, INVENTURE FOODS INC reported lower earnings of $0.33 versus $0.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.55 versus $0.33).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, SNAK has a quick ratio of 0.59, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Inventure Foods 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.

National Beverage ( FIZZ) was another company that pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today. National Beverage was up $0.39 (2.3%) to $17.53 on light volume. Throughout the day, 24,296 shares of National Beverage exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 34,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $17.08-$17.63 after having opened the day at $17.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.14.

National Beverage Corp., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells a portfolio of flavored beverage products primarily in the United States. National Beverage has a market cap of $810.9 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 15.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate National Beverage a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Beverage as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on FIZZ go as follows:

  • FIZZ's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.28 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 1.37, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 51.00% to $20.08 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 3.10%.
  • 35.10% is the gross profit margin for NATIONAL BEVERAGE CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of FIZZ's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.26% trails the industry average.
  • FIZZ, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.1%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Beverages industry and the overall market, NATIONAL BEVERAGE CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: National Beverage 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.

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