CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF): 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.

CF Industries Holdings ( CF) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.8%. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings fell $4.92 (-2.3%) to $206.68 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.4 million shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of one million shares. The stock ranged in price between $205.56-$211.17 after having opened the day at $210.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $211.60. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), down 7.9%, Air Products & Chemicals ( APD), down 6.3%, Sensient Technologies Corporation ( SXT), down 5.3%, and Cabot Corporation ( CBT), down 5.2%.
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CF Industries Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, CF Industries, Inc., manufactures and distributes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products, serving agricultural and industrial customers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Nitrogen and Phosphate. CF Industries Holdings has a market cap of $13.54 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, equal to the average chemicals industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 46% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate CF Industries Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CF Industries Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

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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