PPG Industries Inc. (PPG): Today's Featured Chemicals Laggard

PPG Industries ( PPG) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, PPG Industries fell $1.66 (-1.5%) to $108.48 on light volume. Throughout the day, 850,094 shares of PPG Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $108.14-$110.82 after having opened the day at $110.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $110.14. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Cereplast ( CERP), down 8%, American Pacific Corporation ( APFC), down 5.7%, Senomyx ( SNMX), down 5.6%, and Metabolix ( MBLX), down 5.4%.

PPG Industries, Inc. manufactures and supplies protective and decorative coatings. PPG Industries has a market cap of $16.97 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.2, equal to the average chemicals industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 32.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate PPG Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPG Industries as a buy. 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, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), up 6.4%, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 6.1%, Solazyme ( SZYM), up 5.9%, and Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), up 3.9%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with W.R. Grace & Company ( GRA) being today's featured chemicals industry leader.

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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