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

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CF Industries Holdings ( CF) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.7%. By the end of trading, CF Industries Holdings fell $2.53 (-1.1%) to $233.09 on average volume. Throughout the day, 706,628 shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 851,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $232.76-$238.19 after having opened the day at $237.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $235.62. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Rentech Nitrogen Partners ( RNF), down 2.2%, Intrepid Potash ( IPI), down 2.1%, Ferrellgas Partners ( FGP), down 1.9% and Amyris ( AMRS), down 1.8%.

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 $13.6 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 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, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Metabolix ( MBLX), up 52.3%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 8.7%, Rockwood Holdings ( ROC), up 4.4% and Taminco ( TAM), up 4.0% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with PPG Industries ( PPG) 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).

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