Declines From Huntsman Corporation (HUN) Drive Down Chemicals Industry

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.

Huntsman Corporation ( HUN) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Huntsman Corporation fell 20 cents (-1.1%) to $17.99 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.1 million shares of Huntsman Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $17.91-$18.28 after having opened the day at $18.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.19. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Metabolix ( MBLX), down 9.4%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 5.4%, Ceres ( CERE), down 4.7%, and Verenium Corporation ( VRNM), down 3.9%.
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Huntsman Corporation and its subsidiaries engage in the manufacture and sale of differentiated organic and inorganic chemical products worldwide. The company operates in five segments: Polyurethanes, Performance Products, Advanced Materials, Textile Effects, and Pigments. Huntsman Corporation has a market cap of $4.39 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Huntsman Corporation a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Huntsman Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Scotts Miracle Gro ( SMG), up 5.3%, Flotek Industries ( FTK), up 3.1%, FMC Corporation ( FMC), up 2.9%, and Landec Corporation ( LNDC), up 2.1%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Agrium ( AGU) 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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