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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Rentech (RTK) were gaining 7.5% to $1.15 on heavy trading volume Monday after the agricultural chemicals company beat analysts' estimates for earnings in the first quarter.

Rentech reported a loss of 2 cents a share for the first quarter, above analysts' estimates of a loss of 3 cents a share for the quarter. Revenue grew 28.3% year over year to $105.61 million for the quarter, below analysts' estimates of $108.1 million.

"Results for the first quarter were generally in line with our expectations for improved profits," President and CEO Keith Forman said in a statement. "At Rentech Nitrogen, margins improved in the first quarter from last year, due to robust demand for ammonia and ammonium sulfate, higher ammonium sulfate prices and lower natural gas prices."

About 3.4 million shares of Rentech were traded by 10:59 a.m. Monday, above the company's average trading volume of about 1.4 million shares a day.

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TheStreet Recommends

TheStreet Ratings team rates RENTECH INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate RENTECH INC (RTK) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: RTK Ratings Report

RTK data by YCharts

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