Albemarle Corp (ALB): Chemicals' Featured Stock Of The Day

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.

Albemarle ( ALB) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Albemarle rose 72 cents (1.2%) to $61.77 on average volume. Throughout the day, 766,007 shares of Albemarle exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 691,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $60.07-$62.03 after having opened the day at $60.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.05. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Pure Bioscience ( PURE), up 15.1%, Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 5.9%, Braskem ( BAK), up 3.8%, and Flotek Industries ( FTK), up 2.8%.
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Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals. Albemarle has a market cap of $5.35 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Albemarle a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Albemarle 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 reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Ceres ( CERE), down 8.3%, KMG Chemicals ( KMG), down 4.1%, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), down 2.7%, and Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 2.7%, were all laggards within the chemicals industry with PPG Industries ( PPG) 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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