CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF): 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

CF Industries Holdings ( CF) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings fell $2.29 (-1.2%) to $186.51 on average volume. Throughout the day, 974,859 shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,146,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $185.54-$188.92 after having opened the day at $188.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $188.80. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Great Basin Gold ( GBG), down 13.7%, BMB Munai ( BMBM), down 12.6%, Torch Energy Royalty ( TRU), down 11.1% and Allied Nevada Gold ( ANV), down 9.6%.
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CF Industries Holdings, Inc. manufactures and distributes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products worldwide. It operates in two segments, Nitrogen and Phosphate. CF Industries Holdings has a market cap of $11.6 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 8.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates CF Industries Holdings 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, GeoPetro Resources Company ( GPR), down 31.6%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 22.4%, Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM), down 19.4% and Oil States International ( OIS), down 16.8% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) 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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