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.

All three major indices traded up today with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) trading up 323 points (1.8%) at 17,908 as of Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,416 issues advancing vs. 715 declining with 85 unchanged.

The Chemicals industry as a whole closed the day up 1.6% versus the S&P 500, which was up 1.8%. Top gainers within the Chemicals industry included

Methes Energies International

(

MEIL

), up 6.4%,

Metabolix

(

MBLX

), up 4.5%,

Northern Technologies International

(

NTIC

), up 4.2%,

Gevo

(

GEVO

), up 3.1% and

BioAmber

(

BIOA

), up 6.2%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Gevo

(

GEVO

) is one of the companies that pushed the Chemicals industry higher today. Gevo was up $0.01 (3.1%) to $0.33 on light volume. Throughout the day, 451,487 shares of Gevo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 812,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.31-$0.35 after having opened the day at $0.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.32.

TheStreet Recommends

Gevo, Inc., a renewable chemicals and biofuels company, focuses primarily on the production and sale of isobutanol and related products from renewable feedstocks. Gevo has a market cap of $33.9 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Gevo a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gevo as a

sell

. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on GEVO go as follows:

  • GEVO's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 71.54%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, GEVO INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$7.39 million or 41.06% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -1.92%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.68, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. To add to this, GEVO has a quick ratio of 1.52, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • GEVO INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, GEVO INC continued to lose money by earning -$1.49 versus -$2.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.68 versus -$1.49).

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Gevo Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close,

Northern Technologies International

(

NTIC

) was up $0.94 (4.2%) to $23.25 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,385 shares of Northern Technologies International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $22.52-$23.62 after having opened the day at $23.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.31.

Northern Technologies International Corporation develops, markets, and sells rust and corrosion inhibiting products and services to the automotive, electronics, electrical, mechanical, military, retail consumer, and oil and gas markets. Northern Technologies International has a market cap of $96.9 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 4.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Northern Technologies International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Northern Technologies International

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NTIC go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • NTIC has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.39, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 35.17% is the gross profit margin for NORTHERN TECH INTL which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.83% is above that of the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • NORTHERN TECH INTL's earnings per share declined by 25.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NORTHERN TECH INTL increased its bottom line by earning $0.89 versus $0.76 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Northern Technologies International Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Metabolix

(

MBLX

) was another company that pushed the Chemicals industry higher today. Metabolix was up $0.02 (4.5%) to $0.40 on light volume. Throughout the day, 58,993 shares of Metabolix exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 130,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.38-$0.40 after having opened the day at $0.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.38.

Metabolix has a market cap of $56.8 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 6.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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.