Potash Corporation Of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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.

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan fell 45 cents (-1.1%) to $39.15 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, seven million shares of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $38.92-$39.46 after having opened the day at $39.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.60. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: GMX Resources ( GMXR), down 13.2%, Endeavour International ( END), down 10.2%, World Fuel Services Corporation ( INT), down 10.2%, and GeoGlobal Resources ( GGR), down 10.1%.
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Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells fertilizers and related industrial and feed products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company mines and produces potash, which is used as fertilizer. Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan has a market cap of $34.79 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations 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 weak growth in earnings per share.

On the positive front, Avalon Rare Metals ( AVL), up 16.5%, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG), up 11.1%, ZaZa Energy ( ZAZA), up 9.4%, and Whiting USA Trust I ( WHX), up 9.3%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Hess ( HES) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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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