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

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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 0.7%. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings rose $4.22 (1.9%) to $220.12 on light volume. Throughout the day, 739,080 shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $216.59-$220.67 after having opened the day at $217.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $215.90. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were:

Gevo

(

GEVO

), up 8.7%,

Cereplast

(

CERP

), up 7.6%,

Flotek Industries

(

FTK

), up 5.8%, and

Altair Nanotechnologies

(

ALTI

), up 4.4%.

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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 $13.43 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.2, equal to the average chemicals industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 47.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate CF Industries Holdings a buy, no analysts rate 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 solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

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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