Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (SIAL): 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.

Sigma-Aldrich Corporation ( SIAL) 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, Sigma-Aldrich Corporation fell $1.17 (-1.6%) to $70.42 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 730,924 shares of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 485,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $70.11-$71.71 after having opened the day at $71.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $71.59. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Gulf Resources ( GURE), down 10.8%, China Green Agriculture ( CGA), down 4.6%, Renewable Energy Group ( REGI), down 3.6%, and BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 3.5%.
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Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, a life science and high technology company, develops, manufactures, purchases, and distributes various chemicals, biochemicals, and equipment worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich Corporation has a market cap of $8.81 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.5, below the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 19.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Sigma-Aldrich Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sigma-Aldrich Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Cereplast ( CERP), up 12.9%, PolyOne Corporation ( POL), up 9%, Pure Bioscience ( PURE), up 4.5%, and Senomyx ( SNMX), up 3.3%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Dow Chemical ( DOW) 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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