FMC Corporation (FMC): Today's Featured Chemicals Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

FMC Corporation ( FMC) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, FMC Corporation fell 65 cents (-1.2%) to $54.93 on average volume. Throughout the day, 867,494 shares of FMC Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 998,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $54.60-$55.51 after having opened the day at $55.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.58. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Ikonics Corporation ( IKNX), down 6.5%, Lizhan Environmental ( LZEN), down 6.2%, Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), down 3.8%, and Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), down 3.8%.

FMC Corporation, a diversified chemical company, provides solutions and products for agricultural, consumer, and industrial markets. The company operates in three segments: Agricultural Products, Specialty Chemicals, and Industrial Chemicals. FMC Corporation has a market cap of $7.51 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.3, below the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 19.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 25% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are six analysts that rate FMC Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FMC Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Georgia Gulf ( GGC), up 3.5%, Ceres ( CERE), up 3.3%, Pure Bioscience ( PURE), up 3.1%, and Oil-Dri Corporation of America ( ODC), up 2.5%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Huntsman Corporation ( HUN) 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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