Axiall Corp (AXLL): 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.

Axiall ( AXLL) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.2%. By the end of trading, Axiall fell $2.29 (-4.9%) to $44.21 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,601,317 shares of Axiall exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,017,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $43.30-$46.91 after having opened the day at $45.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.50. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), down 9.9%, Senomyx ( SNMX), down 8.7%, Amyris ( AMRS), down 8.0% and Koppers Holdings ( KOP), down 6.9%.

Axiall Corporation manufactures and markets chemicals and building products in North America. The company operates through three segments: Chlorovinyls, Building Products, and Aromatics. Axiall has a market cap of $3.2 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Axiall a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Axiall as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, Methes Energies International ( MEIL), up 9.5%, Ikonics ( IKNX), up 1.9%, LSB Industries ( LXU), up 1.9% and Braskem ( BAK), up 1.6% , were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Westlake Chemical ( WLK) 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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