Agrium Inc (AGU): 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.

Agrium ( AGU) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Agrium rose $1.49 (1.7%) to $86.91 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,558,819 shares of Agrium exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 972,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $85.20-$87.16 after having opened the day at $85.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.42. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Gulf Resources ( GURE), up 13.9%, Ceres ( CERE), up 10.9%, China Green Agriculture ( CGA), up 6.2% and Ikonics Corporation ( IKNX), up 5.5%.

Agrium Inc. engages in the retail of agricultural products and services. The company operates through three segments: Retail, Wholesale, and Advanced Technologies. Agrium has a market cap of $13.0 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 14.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Agrium a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Agrium as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Metabolix ( MBLX), down 6.3%, Gevo ( GEVO), down 3.8%, Flotek Industries ( FTK), down 3.7% and Methes Energies International ( MEIL), down 3.2% , were all laggards within the chemicals industry with Air Products & Chemicals ( APD) being today's chemicals industry laggard.

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).

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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