Intrepid Potash ( IPI) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.6%. By the end of trading, Intrepid Potash rose 13 cents (0.6%) to $21.12 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.2 million shares of Intrepid Potash exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 768,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.01-$21.92 after having opened the day at $21.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.99. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Nanophase Technologies Corporation ( NANX), up 4.3%, China Green Agriculture ( CGA), up 2.6%, Yongye International ( YONG), up 2.5%, and Terra Nitrogen Company L.P ( TNH), up 2.3%.

Intrepid Potash, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and marketing of muriate of potash or potassium chloride, and langbeinite under the Trio brand name primarily in the United States. Intrepid Potash has a market cap of $1.64 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 15.9 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 41.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Intrepid Potash a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intrepid Potash as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), down 11.5%, Cereplast ( CERP), down 11.1%, Gulf Resources ( GURE), down 6.6%, and Ferro ( FOE), down 5.9%, 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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