Praxair Inc. (PX): Today's Featured Chemicals Laggard

Praxair ( PX) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Praxair fell $2.03 (-1.7%) to $114.70 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,608,849 shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,270,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $114.55-$116.55 after having opened the day at $116.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $116.73. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Methes Energies International ( MEIL), down 17.7%, Ferro ( FOE), down 10.3%, GSE ( GSE), down 7.1% and Kronos Worldwide ( KRO), down 5.3%.

Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, distribution, and sale of atmospheric and process gases, and surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $34.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Praxair a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Praxair as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, 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% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Monsanto Company ( MON) 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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