W.R. Grace & Company (GRA): Today's Featured Chemicals Winner

W.R. Grace & Company ( GRA) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, W.R. Grace & Company rose 31 cents (0.6%) to $56.02 on light volume. Throughout the day, 375,392 shares of W.R. Grace & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 946,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $55.08-$56.16 after having opened the day at $55.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.71. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Chemtura Corporation ( CHMT), up 15.1%, Cereplast ( CERP), up 11.3%, Westlake Chemical Corporation ( WLK), up 7.9%, and American Vanguard Corporation ( AVD), up 6.2%.

W.R. Grace & Co. engages in the production and sale of specialty chemicals and materials worldwide. W.R. Grace & Company has a market cap of $4.18 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.1, below the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 15.8 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 22% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate W.R. Grace & Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates W.R. Grace & Company as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been unimpressive growth in net income over time.

On the negative front, Lizhan Environmental ( LZEN), down 10.8%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 7.1%, Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), down 7%, and Kraton Performance Polymers ( KRA), down 5.9%, were all laggards within the chemicals industry with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT) 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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