3 Stocks Driving 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 305 points (1.8%) at 17,666 as of Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,499 issues advancing vs. 614 declining with 98 unchanged.

The Food & Beverage industry as a whole closed the day up 1.3% versus the S&P 500, which was up 1.4%. Top gainers within the Food & Beverage industry included Bridgford Foods ( BRID), up 3.3%, American Lorain ( ALN), up 7.3%, Key Technology ( KTEC), up 2.1%, Tianli Agritech ( OINK), up 4.4% and China New Borun ( BORN), up 5.7%.

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

China New Borun ( BORN) is one of the companies that pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today. China New Borun was up $0.07 (5.7%) to $1.23 on light volume. Throughout the day, 25,885 shares of China New Borun exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 63,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.17-$1.29 after having opened the day at $1.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.16.

China New Borun Corporation produces and distributes corn-based edible alcohol in the People's Republic of China. China New Borun has a market cap of $29.3 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 9.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate China New Borun a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates China New Borun as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on BORN go as follows:

  • BORN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. 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.
  • BORN's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.45 is sturdy.
  • 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 46.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.78 million to $0.95 million.
  • The gross profit margin for CHINA NEW BORUN CORP -ADR is currently extremely low, coming in at 8.60%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 1.10% significantly trails the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: China New Borun 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, Key Technology ( KTEC) was up $0.27 (2.1%) to $12.80 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,900 shares of Key Technology exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $12.50-$12.89 after having opened the day at $12.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.53.

Key Technology, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, sells, and services process automation systems integrating electro-optical inspection, sorting, and process systems in the United States and internationally. Key Technology has a market cap of $80.6 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 3.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Key Technology 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 Key Technology as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on KTEC go as follows:

  • KTEC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.08 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 1.16, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • KTEC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 22.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • KEY TECHNOLOGY INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, KEY TECHNOLOGY INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.86 versus $0.66 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.14 versus -$0.86).
  • The gross profit margin for KEY TECHNOLOGY INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.52%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -0.26% trails that of the industry average.
  • 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 Machinery industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 106.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.30 million to -$0.09 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Key Technology 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.

American Lorain ( ALN) was another company that pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today. American Lorain was up $0.08 (7.3%) to $1.17 on light volume. Throughout the day, 17,040 shares of American Lorain exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 28,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.09-$1.17 after having opened the day at $1.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.09.

American Lorain Corporation, through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and sells various food products in the People's Republic of China. It provides chestnut products, including aerated open-bottom chestnuts, sweetheart chestnuts, chestnuts in syrup, and golden chestnut kernels. American Lorain has a market cap of $36.7 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 10.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate American Lorain a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Lorain as a hold. 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 and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ALN go as follows:

  • ALN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.1%. 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.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.58, 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 1.05, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Food Products industry and the overall market, AMERICAN LORAIN CORP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICAN LORAIN CORP is rather low; currently it is at 19.42%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 2.13% trails that of the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: American Lorain 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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