LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB): 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.

LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) 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, LyondellBasell Industries fell $1.16 (-2.2%) to $51.22 on light volume. Throughout the day, three million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $51.17-$52.56 after having opened the day at $52.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.38. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Renewable Energy Group ( REGI), down 7.5%, Gevo ( GEVO), down 5.2%, Kraton Performance Polymers ( KRA), down 4.4%, and Metabolix ( MBLX), down 3.8%.
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LyondellBasell Industries N.V. manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers, refines crude oil, produces gasoline blending components, and develops and licenses technologies for the production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $30.29 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.9, below the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 15.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 61.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the positive front, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 5.9%, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), up 5.1%, Cereplast ( CERP), up 5%, and Clean Diesel Technologies ( CDTI), up 3.5%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Agrium ( AGU) 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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