Praxair Inc. (PX): 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.

Praxair ( PX) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Praxair rose $1.49 (1.1%) to $132.49 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,309,784 shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 886,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $130.97-$132.55 after having opened the day at $131.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $131.00. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: American Pacific Corporation ( APFC), up 18.8%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 15.7%, Braskem ( BAK), up 2.7% and Green Plains Renewable Energy ( GPRE), up 2.6%.

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 $38.5 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 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, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. 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, GSE ( GSE), down 32.5%, Ceres ( CERE), down 15.0%, Solazyme ( SZYM), down 4.3% and Gevo ( GEVO), down 3.0%.

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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