Albemarle Corp (ALB): 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

Albemarle ( ALB) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Albemarle fell $0.64 (-1.0%) to $63.50 on average volume. Throughout the day, 911,096 shares of Albemarle exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 749,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $63.03-$64.51 after having opened the day at $64.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $64.14. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Gevo ( GEVO), down 6.0%, Senomyx ( SNMX), down 2.3% and Rentech Nitrogen Partners ( RNF), down 1.9%.
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Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals. Albemarle has a market cap of $5.7 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 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Albemarle a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Albemarle 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, reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Lightbridge ( LTBR), down 11.0%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 7.8%, REX American Resources ( REX), down 7.0% and Metabolix ( MBLX), down 5.8% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Rockwood Holdings ( ROC) 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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