Mosaic Co (MOS): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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.

Mosaic ( MOS) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Mosaic fell $2.25 (-3.9%) to $55.76 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 9.8 million shares of Mosaic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $55.20-$57.37 after having opened the day at $56.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.01. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), down 66.6%, Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), down 19%, Core Laboratories N.V ( CLB), down 16.3%, and Torch Energy Royalty ( TRU), down 15%.
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The Mosaic Company produces and markets concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients for the agriculture industry worldwide. Mosaic has a market cap of $17.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.5, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 13 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Mosaic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mosaic as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), up 13.6%, Cereplast ( CERP), up 9.6%, Lone Pine Resources ( LPR), up 6.6%, and HKN ( HKN), up 6.4%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Devon Energy ( DVN) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the basic materials sector could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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