CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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.

CF Industries Holdings ( CF) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings fell $3.66 (-1.9%) to $188.25 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,286,302 shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,050,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $186.10-$192.98 after having opened the day at $191.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $191.91. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Sibanye Gold Ltd ADR ( SBGL), down 43.4%, Tonix Pharmaceuticals ( TNXP), down 30.2%, Lone Pine Resources ( LPR), down 27.3% and Asanko Gold ( AKG), down 14.6%.

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 $11.3 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 6.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate CF Industries Holdings a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 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 increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, New Concept Energy ( GBR), up 32.2%, Willbros Group ( WG), up 19.6%, GeoPetro Resources Company ( GPR), up 14.0% and Walter Energy ( WLT), up 13.8% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Teck Resources ( TCK) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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).

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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