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 2%. By the end of trading, Monsanto Company rose $1.66 (2.2%) to $76.41 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 9.2 million shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $75.84-$77.35 after having opened the day at $76.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $74.75. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were:

Gushan Environmental Energy

(

GU

), up 10%,

Pure Bioscience

(

PURE

), up 8.2%,

Lizhan Environmental

(

LZEN

), up 7.3%, and

Synthesis Energy Sys

(

SYMX

), up 5.6%.

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 $39.24 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.8, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 20.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Monsanto Company a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto Company 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 expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front,

BioFuel Energy Corporation

(

BIOF

), down 12.3%,

Cereplast

(

CERP

), down 11%,

Ceres

(

CERE

), down 10.6%, and

Altair Nanotechnologies

(

ALTI

), down 9.8%, were all losers within the chemicals industry with

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan

(

POT

) 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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