Rockwood Holdings Inc (ROC): Today's Featured Chemicals Winner

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.

Rockwood Holdings ( ROC) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Rockwood Holdings rose $1.60 (3.4%) to $48.49 on average volume. Throughout the day, 959,885 shares of Rockwood Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 854,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $46.66-$48.62 after having opened the day at $46.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.89. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 10.4%, Senomyx ( SNMX), up 5.2%, Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), up 4.6%, and Yongye International ( YONG), up 4.3%.

Rockwood Holdings, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets specialty chemicals and materials for industrial and commercial applications primarily in Germany, the United States, and Europe. Rockwood Holdings has a market cap of $3.5 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.6, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 8.2 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are three analysts that rate Rockwood Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rockwood Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Kronos Worldwide ( KRO), down 3%, Kraton Performance Polymers ( KRA), down 2.8%, Lizhan Environmental ( LZEN), down 2.3%, and American Vanguard Corporation ( AVD), down 2.3%, were all laggards within the chemicals industry with Celanese Corporation ( CE) 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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