Monsanto Company

(

MON

) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Monsanto Company rose 66 cents (0.9%) to $70.15 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3.2 million shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $69.92-$70.88 after having opened the day at $70.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.49. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were:

TOR Minerals International Inc

(

TORM

), up 6.6%,

Gevo Inc

(

GEVO

), up 4.9%,

Lizhan Environmental

(

LZEN

), up 4.9%, and

Aceto Corporation

(

ACET

), up 4.8%.

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto Company has a market cap of $36.25 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.9, equal to the average chemicals industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto as a

buy

. 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front,

Pure Bioscience Inc

(

PURE

), down 14%,

BioFuel Energy Corporation

(

BIOF

), down 13.3%,

Pacific Ethanol Inc

(

PEIXD

), down 7.3%, and

Pacific Ethanol Inc

(

PEIX

), down 7.3%, were all losers within the chemicals industry with

Mosaic

(

MOS

) 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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