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




) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Albemarle fell $2.49 (-4.1%) to $57.75 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,144,464 shares of Albemarle exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 733,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $57.01-$58.99 after having opened the day at $58.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.24. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were:

Gasco Energy



), down 20.8%,

New Concept Energy



), down 17.0%,

BMB Munai



), down 16.2% and

Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat



), down 14.8%.

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Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals. Albemarle has a market cap of $5.5 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.8, equal to the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Albemarle as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front,

Kimber Resources



), down 23.5%,

Flexible Solutions International



), down 19.6%,

SilverCrest Mines



), down 16.5% and

Crosshair Energy



), down 14.6% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with

Chesapeake Energy



) 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



) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider

ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd




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