Axiall Corp (AXLL): Today's Featured Chemicals 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

Axiall ( AXLL) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Axiall fell $1.50 (-3.0%) to $48.29 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,830,875 shares of Axiall exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,574,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $47.76-$49.86 after having opened the day at $49.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.79. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Taminco ( TAM), down 4.3%, Metabolix ( MBLX), down 3.0%, Balchem Corporation ( BCPC), down 2.8% and Valhi ( VHI), down 2.5%.
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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 $3.4 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 18.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Axiall a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Axiall as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Gevo ( GEVO), down 10.2%, Green Plains Renewable Energy ( GPRE), down 5.6%, REX American Resources ( REX), down 5.1% and Solazyme ( SZYM), down 4.9%.

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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