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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


Westlake Chemical Corporation



) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Westlake Chemical Corporation rose $2.34 (2.6%) to $91.86 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 917,718 shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 509,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $88.38-$94.06 after having opened the day at $88.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.52. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were:

BioFuel Energy Corporation



), up 13.2%,

Pacific Ethanol



), up 8%,



TheStreet Recommends


), up 5.1%, and

Methanex Corporation



), up 4.7%.

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Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and fabricated building products. It operates in two segments, Olefins and Vinyls. Westlake Chemical Corporation has a market cap of $5.87 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Westlake Chemical Corporation a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Westlake Chemical Corporation as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front,

Cabot Corporation



), down 12.9%,

Dow Chemical



), down 7%,

Pure Bioscience



), down 4.6%, and




), down 1.9%, were all laggards within the chemicals industry with

Monsanto Company



) 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



) while those bearish on the chemicals industry could consider

ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd




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