3 Food & Beverage Stocks Moving The Industry Upward

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.

Two out of the three major indices traded up today One out of the three major indices traded up today The three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 5.88 points (0.0%) at 16,315 as of Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,884 issues advancing vs. 1,209 declining with 128 unchanged.

The Food & Beverage industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.2%. Top gainers within the Food & Beverage industry included Crystal Rock Holdings ( CRVP), up 3.0%, Tofutti Brands ( TOF), up 9.6%, Synutra International ( SYUT), up 2.5%, Lifeway Foods ( LWAY), up 2.2% and Seneca Foods ( SENEA), up 3.0%.

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

Seneca Foods ( SENEA) is one of the companies that pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today. Seneca Foods was up $0.83 (3.0%) to $28.95 on average volume. Throughout the day, 18,349 shares of Seneca Foods exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 15,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $28.29-$29.63 after having opened the day at $28.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.12.

Seneca Foods Corporation produces and distributes packaged fruits and vegetables in the United States and internationally. Seneca Foods has a market cap of $247.2 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 11.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Seneca Foods a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Seneca Foods as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SENEA go as follows:

  • SENEA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.59, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.47 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • The gross profit margin for SENECA FOODS CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 9.44%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -0.04% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $33.46 million or 3.11% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, SENECA FOODS CORP has marginally lower results.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Seneca 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.

At the close, Lifeway Foods ( LWAY) was up $0.32 (2.2%) to $14.84 on average volume. Throughout the day, 13,442 shares of Lifeway Foods exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $14.28-$14.90 after having opened the day at $14.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.52.

Lifeway Foods, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells probiotic, cultured, and functional dairy and non-dairy health food products in the United States. Lifeway Foods has a market cap of $232.1 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 9.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Lifeway 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 Lifeway Foods as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 LWAY go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 28.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • LWAY's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.21 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, LWAY has a quick ratio of 2.11, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • LIFEWAY FOODS INC's earnings per share declined by 22.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LIFEWAY FOODS INC reported lower earnings of $0.31 versus $0.35 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 6.5% in earnings ($0.29 versus $0.31).
  • 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 Food Products industry. The net income has decreased by 22.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $1.40 million to $1.10 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Lifeway 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.

Synutra International ( SYUT) was another company that pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today. Synutra International was up $0.12 (2.5%) to $4.84 on average volume. Throughout the day, 36,050 shares of Synutra International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 33,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $4.75-$4.88 after having opened the day at $4.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.72.

Synutra International, Inc., through its subsidiaries, produces, markets, and distributes dairy based nutritional products primarily under the Shengyuan or Synutra name in the People's Republic of China. Synutra International has a market cap of $267.6 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 46.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Synutra International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Synutra International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SYUT go as follows:

  • SYNUTRA INTERNATIONAL 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. During the past fiscal year, SYNUTRA INTERNATIONAL INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.54 versus -$1.11 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Personal Products industry. The net income increased by 275.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.78 million to $17.94 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $3.31 million or 0.71% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 4.85 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.47, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Synutra International 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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