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Mosaic Co (MOS): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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

Mosaic (MOS) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Mosaic fell $1.98 (-3.1%) to $61.30 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 5,492,183 shares of Mosaic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,944,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $60.71-$62.79 after having opened the day at $62.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.28. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Recon Technology (RCON), down 14.1%, China Gengsheng Minerals (CHGS), down 13.6%, Quest Rare Minerals (QRM), down 10.1% and Double Eagle Petroleum Company (DBLE), down 8.6%.

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The Mosaic Company produces and markets concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients for the agriculture industry worldwide. Mosaic has a market cap of $19.0 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Mosaic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mosaic as a buy. 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, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, BMB Munai (BMBM), down 56.5%, Sutor Technology Group (SUTR), down 19.2%, Ivanhoe Energy (IVAN), down 17.4% and Flexible Solutions International (FSI), down 13.6% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Spectra Energy (SE) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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

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