Monsanto Company (MON): Today's Featured Chemicals Winner

Monsanto Company ( MON) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Monsanto Company rose $1.82 (1.9%) to $98.42 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4,542,377 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,747,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $96.50-$98.49 after having opened the day at $96.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $96.60. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: REX American Resources ( REX), up 7.4%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), up 6.6%, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), up 6.2% and Yongye International ( YONG), up 4.1%.

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto Company has a market cap of $52.7 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Monsanto Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto Company as a buy. 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Methes Energies International ( MEIL), down 17.7%, Ferro ( FOE), down 10.3%, GSE ( GSE), down 7.1% and Kronos Worldwide ( KRO), down 5.3% , were all laggards within the chemicals industry with Praxair ( PX) 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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