Mosaic Co (MOS): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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.

Mosaic ( MOS) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Mosaic rose $1.15 (2.3%) to $52.35 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.8 million shares of Mosaic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $50.64-$53.18 after having opened the day at $51.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.20. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Recon Technology ( RCON), up 13%, Oxford Resource Partners ( OXF), up 11.8%, Geokinetics ( GOK), up 11.1%, and GeoPetro Resources Company ( GPR), up 10.7%.
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The Mosaic Company produces and markets concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients for the agriculture industry worldwide. Mosaic has a market cap of $14.7 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Mosaic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mosaic as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Recovery Energy ( RECV), down 23.2%, Banro Corporation ( BAA), down 12.5%, Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF), down 12.1%, and Torch Energy Royalty ( TRU), down 9.8%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Apache Corporation ( APA) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the basic materials sector could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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