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Mosaic Co (MOS): Today's Featured Chemicals Laggard

Mosaic ( MOS) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Mosaic fell $1.00 (-1.8%) to $54.91 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6,200,735 shares of Mosaic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,611,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $53.75-$55.08 after having opened the day at $54.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.91. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Metabolix ( MBLX), down 6.0%, Methes Energies International ( MEIL), down 4.8%, American Vanguard Corporation ( AVD), down 3.8% and Omnova Solutions ( OMN), down 3.1%.

The Mosaic Company produces and markets concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients for the agriculture industry worldwide. Mosaic has a market cap of $16.4 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Mosaic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 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, increase in stock price during the past year 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, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 11.1%, Senomyx ( SNMX), up 7.3%, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 7.1% and Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 5.6% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) 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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