Dow Chemical Co (DOW): 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

Dow Chemical ( DOW) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.1%. By the end of trading, Dow Chemical fell $0.66 (-1.8%) to $35.12 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7,221,097 shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,714,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $34.91-$36.00 after having opened the day at $35.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.78. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: CVR Partners ( UAN), down 8.9%, Lightbridge ( LTBR), down 7.1%, Solazyme ( SZYM), down 6.2% and Metabolix ( MBLX), down 5.9%.
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The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products for use as raw materials worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $43.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 43.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Dow Chemical a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dow Chemical as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, REX American Resources ( REX), down 12.6%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 4.1%, Verenium Corporation ( VRNM), down 1.9% and Penford Corporation ( PENX), down 1.8% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with W. R. Grace ( GRA) 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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