Two out of the three major indices traded up today One out of the three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 0.33 points (0.0%) at 17,403 as of Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,537 issues advancing vs. 1,563 declining with 108 unchanged.

The Food & Beverage industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.1%. Top gainers within the Food & Beverage industry included Leading Brands ( LBIX), up 2.6%, Bridgford Foods ( BRID), up 8.3%, SkyPeople Fruit Juice ( SPU), up 1.8%, S&W Seed Company ( SANW), up 7.0% and Central Garden & Pet ( CENT), up 2.0%.

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

S&W Seed Company ( SANW) is one of the companies that pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today. S&W Seed Company was up $0.30 (7.0%) to $4.57 on average volume. Throughout the day, 62,888 shares of S&W Seed Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 77,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $4.28-$4.59 after having opened the day at $4.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.27.

S&W Seed Company engages in breeding, growing, processing, and selling agricultural commodities in the Western United States, Mexico, South America, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as in other countries with Mediterranean climates. S&W Seed Company has a market cap of $55.7 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 6.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate S&W Seed Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates S&W Seed Company as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SANW go as follows:

  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Food Products industry and the overall market, S&W SEED CO's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • SANW's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86 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. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.44 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 31.89%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 33.33% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Food Products industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 17.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$0.40 million to -$0.47 million.
  • The gross profit margin for S&W SEED CO is rather low; currently it is at 23.31%. Regardless of SANW's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.53% trails the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: S&W Seed Company Ratings Report

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

At the close, SkyPeople Fruit Juice ( SPU) was up $0.02 (1.8%) to $1.12 on average volume. Throughout the day, 33,040 shares of SkyPeople Fruit Juice exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 42,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.10-$1.13 after having opened the day at $1.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.10.

SkyPeople Fruit Juice, Inc., through its subsidiaries, produces and sells fruit juice concentrates, fruit beverages, and other fruit-related products in the People's Republic of China and internationally. SkyPeople Fruit Juice has a market cap of $30.1 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 12.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate SkyPeople Fruit Juice a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates SkyPeople Fruit Juice as a hold. 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 attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SPU go as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 12.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 40.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.38, 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 1.42, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • SKYPEOPLE FRUIT JUICE INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SKYPEOPLE FRUIT JUICE INC reported lower earnings of $0.29 versus $0.45 in the prior year.
  • 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, SKYPEOPLE FRUIT JUICE INC's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $8.15 million or 45.18% 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.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SkyPeople Fruit Juice Ratings Report

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

Leading Brands ( LBIX) was another company that pushed the Food & Beverage industry higher today. Leading Brands was up $0.10 (2.6%) to $3.88 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,951 shares of Leading Brands exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $3.75-$3.91 after having opened the day at $3.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.78.

Leading Brands, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, production, marketing, and distribution of beverages in Canada, the western United States, and Asia. Leading Brands has a market cap of $10.7 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 8.0% 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 sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LBIX go as follows:

  • LEADING BRANDS 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. During the past fiscal year, LEADING BRANDS INC reported lower earnings of $0.04 versus $0.36 in the prior year.
  • 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 329.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.18 million to -$0.41 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Beverages industry and the overall market, LEADING BRANDS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for LEADING BRANDS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 31.10%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -13.27% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.64 million or 67.44% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

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.