Huntsman Corporation (HUN): 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.

Huntsman Corporation ( HUN) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Huntsman Corporation fell 23 cents (-1.6%) to $14.24 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.1 million shares of Huntsman Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $14.18-$14.57 after having opened the day at $14.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.47. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Lizhan Environmental ( LZEN), down 36%, Cereplast ( CERP), down 10%, Yongye International ( YONG), down 6.9%, and BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 5.5%.

Huntsman Corporation engages in the manufacture and sale of differentiated organic and inorganic chemical products worldwide. Huntsman Corporation has a market cap of $3.31 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.3, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 9.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 44.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are three analysts that rate Huntsman Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Huntsman Corporation 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, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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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