Praxair Inc. (PX): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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.

Praxair ( PX) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Praxair rose $1.22 (1.0%) to $120.68 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,871,442 shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,280,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $118.91-$121.04 after having opened the day at $119.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $119.46. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Oxford Resource Partners ( OXF), up 21.1%, Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), up 20.5%, Timberline Resources Corporation ( TLR), up 12.2% and Barnwell Industries ( BRN), up 9.5%.

Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, distribution, and sale atmospheric and process gases, as well as surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $35.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 9.1% 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, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share, increase in stock price during the past year and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, Lone Pine Resources ( LPR), down 41.4%, USEC ( USU), down 32.9%, Intrepid Potash ( IPI), down 28.6% and Lightbridge ( LTBR), down 20.0% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Mosaic ( MOS) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the basic materials sector could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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