Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK): 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

Westlake Chemical Corporation ( WLK) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 2.2%. By the end of trading, Westlake Chemical Corporation rose $1.30 (1.4%) to $95.18 on average volume. Throughout the day, 751,281 shares of Westlake Chemical Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 576,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $91.02-$95.98 after having opened the day at $94.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $93.88. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Penford Corporation ( PENX), up 4.3%, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), up 2.6%, Verenium Corporation ( VRNM), up 2.6% and Kronos Worldwide ( KRO), up 1.8%.
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Westlake Chemical Corporation manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers, and fabricated building products. It operates in two segments, Olefins and Vinyls. Westlake Chemical Corporation has a market cap of $6.3 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 18.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Westlake Chemical Corporation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Westlake Chemical Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Ceres ( CERE), down 17.8%, Solazyme ( SZYM), down 13.3%, REX American Resources ( REX), down 8.6% and PetroLogistics ( PDH), down 5.8% , were all laggards within the chemicals industry with Monsanto Company ( MON) 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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