CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF): 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

CF Industries Holdings ( CF) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings fell $2.15 (-1.1%) to $186.73 on light volume. Throughout the day, 561,554 shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,133,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $184.85-$187.65 after having opened the day at $187.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $188.88. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 6.8%, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), down 6.5%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 3.3% and Senomyx ( SNMX), down 2.6%.
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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 $11.2 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the positive front, REX American Resources ( REX), down 8.4%, Solazyme ( SZYM), down 4.1%, Rentech Nitrogen Partners ( RNF), down 2.8% and Rentech ( RTK), down 2.8% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Sherwin-Williams Company ( SHW) 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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