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.

The Chemicals industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.6%. Laggards within the Chemicals industry included

Metabolix

(

MBLX

), down 2.9%,

Flexible Solutions International

(

FSI

), down 2.8%,

Ikonics

(

IKNX

), down 3.4%,

NL Industries

(

NL

), down 3.0% and

China Green Agriculture

(

CGA

), down 2.8%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today:

NL Industries

(

NL

) is one of the companies that pushed the Chemicals industry lower today. NL Industries was down $0.28 (3.0%) to $8.96 on light volume. Throughout the day, 9,916 shares of NL Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 23,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $8.87-$9.20 after having opened the day at $9.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.24.

NL Industries, Inc., through its subsidiary, CompX International Inc., operates in the component products industry in the United States and internationally. NL Industries has a market cap of $471.6 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 17.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate NL Industries a buy, 1 analyst rates 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

NL Industries

as a

hold

. 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 and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NL go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • NL 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 3.64, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • NL INDUSTRIES reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NL INDUSTRIES swung to a loss, reporting -$1.13 versus $1.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.45 versus -$1.13).
  • NL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.55% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, NL INDUSTRIES's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

NL Industries 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,

Flexible Solutions International

(

FSI

) was down $0.03 (2.8%) to $1.04 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 198,703 shares of Flexible Solutions International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 98,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.01-$1.15 after having opened the day at $1.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.07.

Flexible Solutions International, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets specialty chemicals that slow the evaporation of water. Flexible Solutions International has a market cap of $14.9 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 11.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Flexible Solutions International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates 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

Flexible Solutions International

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on FSI go as follows:

  • FSI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.28, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 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 Chemicals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, FLEXIBLE SOLUTIONS INTL INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Chemicals industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 340.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.07 million to -$0.16 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.50 million or 972.34% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Flexible Solutions 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 lower today. Metabolix was down $0.02 (2.9%) to $0.67 on average volume. Throughout the day, 105,117 shares of Metabolix exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 74,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.50-$0.68 after having opened the day at $0.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.69.

Metabolix, Inc., a bioscience company, focuses on delivering sustainable solutions to the plastics and chemicals industries. It produces a family of biopolymers found in nature called polyhydroxyalkanoates, which occur naturally in living organisms and are chemically similar to polyesters. Metabolix has a market cap of $23.4 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 45.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Metabolix a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Metabolix

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

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

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on MBLX go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Chemicals industry. The net income has decreased by 20.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$6.76 million to -$8.15 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market, METABOLIX INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to -$8.97 million or 5.49% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 5.49%, METABOLIX INC is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -4128.45%.
  • Looking at the price performance of MBLX's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 56.50%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier 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.
  • METABOLIX INC's earnings per share declined by 15.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, METABOLIX INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.88 versus $0.10 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.84 versus -$0.88).

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Metabolix 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.