Axiall Corp (AXLL): 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.

Axiall ( AXLL) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Axiall rose $1.23 (2.1%) to $60.07 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.4 million shares of Axiall exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $59.47-$60.76 after having opened the day at $59.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.84. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), up 10%, Pure Bioscience ( PURE), up 8.3%, Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 5.6%, and Green Plains Renewable Energy ( GPRE), up 5.3%.
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Axiall Corporation operates as an integrated chemicals and building products company in North America and Asia. Axiall has a market cap of $4.04 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 40.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Axiall a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Axiall as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, GSE ( GSE), down 4.1%, Hawkins ( HWKN), down 3%, Solazyme ( SZYM), down 2.8%, and Rentech ( RTK), down 2.6%, were all laggards within the chemicals industry with Agrium ( AGU) being today's chemicals industry laggard.

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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