LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB): 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.

LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, LyondellBasell Industries fell 77 cents (-1.3%) to $60.40 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 7.1 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of four million shares. The stock ranged in price between $59.88-$61.28 after having opened the day at $61.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.17. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Kronos Worldwide ( KRO), down 7.2%, Intrepid Potash ( IPI), down 6.1%, Innophos Holdings ( IPHS), down 5.5%, and Braskem ( BAK), down 4.4%.
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LyondellBasell Industries N.V. manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers, refines crude oil, produces gasoline blending components, and develops and licenses technologies for the production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $35.84 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Methes Energies International ( MEIL), up 34.7%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), up 22.4%, Flotek Industries ( FTK), up 3%, and Senomyx ( SNMX), up 2.3%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Monsanto Company ( MON) 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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