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

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

CF Industries Holdings ( CF) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.6%. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings rose $21.30 (11.8%) to $202.30 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 5,646,828 shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 906,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $179.31-$202.77 after having opened the day at $180.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $181.00. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 96.9%, Metabolix ( MBLX), up 11.7%, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 11.6% and Valhi ( VHI), up 6.3%.

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 11.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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 increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Verenium Corporation ( VRNM), down 6.3%, Ceres ( CERE), down 5.4%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 3.3% and Ferro ( FOE), down 3.0%.

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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