Air Products & Chemicals Inc (APD): Today's Featured Chemicals Winner

Air Products & Chemicals ( APD) 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, Air Products & Chemicals rose 70 cents (0.8%) to $83.93 on light volume. Throughout the day, 709,271 shares of Air Products & Chemicals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $82.74-$84.39 after having opened the day at $82.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $83.23. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: International Flavors & Fragrances ( IFF), up 9.7%, Green Plains Renewable Energy ( GPRE), up 6.4%, Braskem ( BAK), up 3.4%, and OM Group ( OMG), up 2.5%.

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. provides atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, equipment, and services worldwide. Air Products & Chemicals has a market cap of $17.51 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.2, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 13.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Air Products & Chemicals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Air Products & Chemicals as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Solazyme ( SZYM), down 8.1%, Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), down 6.5%, Senomyx ( SNMX), down 6.2%, and Lightbridge ( LTBR), down 4.3%, were all laggards within the chemicals industry with Eastman Chemical Company ( EMN) 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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