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 1.0%. By the end of trading, Axiall fell $0.87 (-1.9%) to $45.96 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,404,521 shares of Axiall exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,605,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $45.87-$48.03 after having opened the day at $47.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.83. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Methes Energies International ( MEIL), down 11.9%, Ceres ( CERE), down 8.6%, Metabolix ( MBLX), down 4.0% and Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 3.0%.
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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 $3.3 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.4% 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, REX American Resources ( REX), down 7.7%, PolyOne Corporation ( POL), down 5.8%, Taminco ( TAM), down 5.5% and Omnova Solutions ( OMN), down 5.5% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Agrium ( AGU) 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.
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