Williams Partners LP (WPZ): Today's Featured Chemicals Loser

Williams Partners ( WPZ) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals loser. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Williams Partners fell 32 cents (-0.6%) to $52.22 on light volume. Throughout the day, 397,313 shares of Williams Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 768,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $51.64-$52.84 after having opened the day at $52.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.54. Other company's within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), down 6.3%, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), down 5.6%, Gulf Resources ( GURE), down 4.8%, and NewMarket Corporation ( NEU), down 3.2%.

Williams Partners L.P. focuses on natural gas transportation, gathering, treating and processing, storage, natural gas liquid fractionation, and oil transportation activities in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline, and Midstream Gas and Liquids. Williams Partners has a market cap of $16.53 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 11.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 14.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Williams Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Huntsman Corporation ( HUN), up 9.2%, Verenium Corporation ( VRNM), up 8.1%, REX American Resources ( REX), up 6%, and Oil-Dri Corporation of America ( ODC), up 5.2%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Monsanto Company ( MON) being today's featured chemicals industry winner.

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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