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CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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 or Stephanie Link.

CF Industries Holdings ( CF) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings rose $6.85 (3.5%) to $200.68 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,325,195 shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,024,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $194.32-$203.19 after having opened the day at $197.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $193.83. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Sonde Resources ( SOQ), up 18.4%, Recovery Energy ( RECV), up 16.1%, Rare Element Resources ( REE), up 13.2% and Avalon Rare Metals ( AVL), up 12.3%.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. manufactures and distributes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products worldwide. It operates in two segments, Nitrogen and Phosphate. CF Industries Holdings has a market cap of $11.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate CF Industries Holdings a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CF Industries Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Northern Dynasty Minerals ( NAK), down 32.9%, HyperDynamics Corporation ( HDY), down 11.6%, USEC ( USU), down 10.1% and MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), down 10.0% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

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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