CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF): Today's Featured Chemicals Laggard

CF Industries Holdings ( CF) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings fell $3.41 (-1.8%) to $184.14 on average volume. Throughout the day, 824,110 shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 981,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $181.97-$187.45 after having opened the day at $181.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $187.55. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Ceres ( CERE), down 28.0%, LSB Industries ( LXU), down 2.4%, Metabolix ( MBLX), down 2.1% and TOR Minerals International ( TORM), down 1.9%.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. manufactures and distributes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products worldwide. It operates in two segments, Nitrogen and Phosphate. CF Industries Holdings has a market cap of $10.7 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 11.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate CF Industries Holdings a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CF Industries Holdings 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, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), up 7.8%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 5.8%, Green Plains Renewable Energy ( GPRE), up 4.3% and Rentech Nitrogen Partners ( RNF), up 2.2% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Williams Partners ( WPZ) 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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