Williams Partners LP (WPZ): Today's Featured Chemicals Winner

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

Williams Partners ( WPZ) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Williams Partners rose $1.51 (3.2%) to $48.88 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,154,385 shares of Williams Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 868,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $47.26-$48.88 after having opened the day at $47.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.37. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 8.2%, Amyris ( AMRS), up 5.4%, Kronos Worldwide ( KRO), up 4.5% and Gevo ( GEVO), up 4.2%.
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Williams Partners L.P., an energy infrastructure company, focuses on connecting North America's hydrocarbon resource plays to growing markets for natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL). It operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline and Midstream Gas & Liquids. Williams Partners has a market cap of $20.0 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Williams Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Partners as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Green Plains Renewable Energy ( GPRE), down 5.4%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 5.0%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 3.9% and Omnova Solutions ( OMN), down 3.3% , were all laggards within the chemicals industry with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT) being today's chemicals industry laggard.

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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