Air Products & Chemicals Inc (APD): 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.

Air Products & Chemicals ( APD) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Air Products & Chemicals fell $1.03 (-1.3%) to $78.96 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.1 million shares of Air Products & Chemicals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 877,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $77.27-$79.39 after having opened the day at $79.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $79.99. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Cereplast ( CERP), down 14.9%, Pure Bioscience ( PURE), down 14.3%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 5.6%, and American Pacific Corporation ( APFC), down 5.1%.
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Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. provides atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, equipment, and services worldwide. Air Products & Chemicals has a market cap of $18.07 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.7, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 13.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Air Products & Chemicals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Air Products & Chemicals as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Gulf Resources ( GURE), up 19.1%, OM Group ( OMG), up 6.3%, International Flavors & Fragrances ( IFF), up 4.2%, and China Green Agriculture ( CGA), up 4.1%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Albemarle ( ALB) 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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