Ashland Inc (ASH): Today's Featured Chemicals Winner

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.

Ashland ( ASH) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Ashland rose $1.19 (1.7%) to $72.28 on light volume. Throughout the day, 544,876 shares of Ashland exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 768,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $70.07-$72.56 after having opened the day at $70.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $71.09. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Ikonics Corporation ( IKNX), up 7.6%, Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), up 7.4%, Cereplast ( CERP), up 3.2%, and American Vanguard Corporation ( AVD), up 2.6%.
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Ashland Inc. operates as a specialty chemicals company in the United States and internationally. It operates through four segments: Specialty Ingredients, Water Technologies, Performance Materials, and Consumer Markets. Ashland has a market cap of $5.67 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 144.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 24.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate Ashland a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ashland as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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).

FREE for a limited time only: Get TheStreet Ratings #1 Stock Report NOW!.

null

More from Markets

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

Trump Takes Aim at Auto Imports; Markets End Mixed -- ICYMI

Trump Takes Aim at Auto Imports; Markets End Mixed -- ICYMI

Video: What Oprah's Content Partnership With Apple Means for the Rest of Tech

Video: What Oprah's Content Partnership With Apple Means for the Rest of Tech

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on the Markets, Oil, Starbucks, Tesla, Okta and Red Hat

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on the Markets, Oil, Starbucks, Tesla, Okta and Red Hat

Flashback Friday: The Market Movers

Flashback Friday: The Market Movers