CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF): 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

CF Industries Holdings ( CF) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings rose $3.52 (1.9%) to $190.71 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,242,901 shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,188,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $185.00-$191.32 after having opened the day at $186.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $187.19. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 6.0%, Ikonics Corporation ( IKNX), up 5.8%, Hawkins ( HWKN), up 4.4% and China Green Agriculture ( CGA), up 3.9%.
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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 $11.3 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate CF Industries Holdings a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

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 negative front, Axiall ( AXLL), down 16.3%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 3.0%, Senomyx ( SNMX), down 2.9% and Rentech ( RTK), down 2.6% , were all laggards within the chemicals industry with Williams Partners ( WPZ) 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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