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Williams Partners LP (WPZ): Today's Featured Chemicals Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Williams Partners ( WPZ) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Williams Partners fell $1.22 (-2.4%) to $50.18 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,742,538 shares of Williams Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,183,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $49.26-$50.46 after having opened the day at $50.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.40. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Axiall ( AXLL), down 16.3%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 3.0%, Senomyx ( SNMX), down 2.9% and Rentech ( RTK), down 2.6%.

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Williams Partners L.P., an energy infrastructure company, focuses on connecting North America's hydrocarbon resource plays to growing markets for natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL). It operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline and Midstream Gas & Liquids. Williams Partners has a market cap of $20.7 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Williams Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), down 6.0%, Ikonics Corporation ( IKNX), down 5.8%, Hawkins ( HWKN), down 4.4% and China Green Agriculture ( CGA), down 3.9% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with CF Industries Holdings ( CF) being today's featured chemicals industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the chemicals industry could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the chemicals industry could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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