The U.S. consumer staples industry has toughed out a weak earnings season as it kicks off 2017 with a slow start, aggravated by changing consumer shopping habits, shifting Millennial preferences, a difficult domestic retail market, macroeconomic headwinds and political uncertainty.

Amid the pile up of disappointing quarterly reports, analysts applauded a number of players across segments such as food and beverage, personal products, apparel and footwear, entertainment and tobacco that provided sighs of relief as they pulled ahead of rivals. In general, strong international prospects, innovation pipelines, successful cost cutting and margin improvement efforts worked to uplift the winners over the larger percentage of losers this earnings season. (See also: The Consumer Staples Industry Is in Trouble.)

The 5 Best

Shares of Monster Beverage Corp. (MNST) spiked 13% in March after quarterly revenues topped the Street’s forecasts. In light of a difficult soft drinks space, as major beverage giants turn to bottled water and healthier alternatives to hedge against declining demand, the earnings surprise warranted a series of upbeat analyst notes on the firm’s strong international prospects.

PVH Corp. (PVH) has seen its shares gain 12% since posting 4Q16 results on March 22, beating the Street’s consensus estimates for both top– and bottom-line numbers. Trading at a price of $101.78 per share, PVH has generated 5.5% returns for its shareholders despite negative headwinds in the U.S. retail space that have dragged down its industry peers.

Santa Monica-Calif.-based Activision Blizzard Inc.’s (ATVI) stock has jumped almost 40% year-to-date, gaining more than 23% since posting its most recent quarterly report in February. Analysts remain upbeat on the long-term international growth prospects of the video game company’s latest eSports​ sensation, Overwatch. (See…