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

.

Praxair

(

PX

) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Praxair rose $1.52 (1.4%) to $109.55 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.3 million shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $107.29-$109.59 after having opened the day at $107.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $108.03. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were:

Gulf Resources

(

GURE

), up 6.9%,

China Green Agriculture

(

CGA

), up 5.6%,

Altair Nanotechnologies

(

ALTI

), up 5.5%, and

Intrepid Potash

(

IPI

), up 4.4%.

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Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, distribution, and sale atmospheric and process gases, as well as surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $32.19 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.4, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 19.3 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Praxair a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Praxair as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front,

Lightbridge

(

LTBR

), down 4.8%,

REX American Resources

(

REX

), down 4.3%,

Green Plains Renewable Energy

(

GPRE

), down 3%, and

Ceres

(

CERE

), down 2.8%, were all laggards within the chemicals industry with

Albemarle

(

ALB

) being today's chemicals industry laggard.

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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