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CF Industries Holdings

(

CF

) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings rose $2.61 (1.5%) to $177.69 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.2 million shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $175.56-$178.80 after having opened the day at $176.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $175.08. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were:

Omnova Solutions

(

OMN

), up 9.1%,

Hawkins

(

HWKN

), up 6.2%,

REX American Resources

(

REX

), up 6.2%, and

TheStreet Recommends

Ceres

(

CERE

), up 5.8%.

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CF Industries Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, CF Industries, Inc., manufactures and distributes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products, serving agricultural and industrial customers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Nitrogen and Phosphate. CF Industries Holdings has a market cap of $11.78 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.6, equal to the average chemicals industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate CF Industries Holdings a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and two 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 robust revenue growth, 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 shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front,

Cereplast

(

CERP

), down 25%,

Pure Bioscience

(

PURE

), down 18.6%,

Altair Nanotechnologies

(

ALTI

), down 7.1%, and

Pacific Ethanol

(

PEIX

), down 6.2%, were all losers within the chemicals industry with

Albemarle

(

ALB

) being today's chemicals industry loser.

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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