Williams Partners LP (WPZ): Today's Featured Chemicals Laggard

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.

Williams Partners ( WPZ) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Williams Partners fell $2.36 (-4.5%) to $49.76 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 7,584,442 shares of Williams Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 818,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $49.50-$50.79 after having opened the day at $50.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.12. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Lightbridge ( LTBR), down 11.9%, Intrepid Potash ( IPI), down 7.3%, Metabolix ( MBLX), down 6.4% and PetroLogistics ( PDH), down 4.6%.

Williams Partners L.P., an energy infrastructure company, focuses on connecting North America's hydrocarbon resource plays to growing markets for natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL). It operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline and Midstream Gas & Liquids. Williams Partners has a market cap of $20.8 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 7.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Williams Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Partners as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Senomyx ( SNMX), up 36.5%, Valhi ( VHI), up 11.4%, Hawkins ( HWKN), up 3.2% and REX American Resources ( REX), up 3.0% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Sherwin-Williams Company ( SHW) 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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