3 Stocks Raising The Chemicals Industry Higher

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.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 9 points (0.1%) at 17,695 as of Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,959 issues advancing vs. 1,061 declining with 155 unchanged.

The Chemicals industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.1%. Top gainers within the Chemicals industry included Methes Energies International ( MEIL), up 6.4%, Gulf Resources ( GURE), up 1.7%, Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 3.1%, Gevo ( GEVO), up 11.9% and Valhi ( VHI), up 2.4%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Valhi ( VHI) is one of the companies that pushed the Chemicals industry higher today. Valhi was up $0.14 (2.4%) to $5.88 on light volume. Throughout the day, 47,500 shares of Valhi exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 72,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $5.81-$5.90 after having opened the day at $5.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.74.

Valhi, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates in the chemicals, component products, and waste management businesses. Valhi has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 67.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Valhi a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valhi as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, weak operating cash flow and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on VHI go as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Chemicals industry. The net income increased by 183.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$34.20 million to $28.70 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • VALHI INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VALHI INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.29 versus $0.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.15 versus -$0.29).
  • VHI's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 66.29%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $12.30 million or 81.07% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Valhi Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close, Gevo ( GEVO) was up $0.05 (11.9%) to $0.42 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,375,956 shares of Gevo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 913,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.37-$0.44 after having opened the day at $0.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.38.

Gevo, Inc., a renewable chemicals and biofuels company, focuses primarily on the production and sale of isobutanol and related products from renewable feedstocks. Gevo has a market cap of $38.8 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 73.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Gevo a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gevo as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on GEVO go as follows:

  • GEVO's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 73.34%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, GEVO INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$7.39 million or 41.06% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -2.19%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.68, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. To add to this, GEVO has a quick ratio of 1.52, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • GEVO INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, GEVO INC continued to lose money by earning -$1.49 versus -$2.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.65 versus -$1.49).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Gevo Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Gulf Resources ( GURE) was another company that pushed the Chemicals industry higher today. Gulf Resources was up $0.02 (1.7%) to $1.17 on average volume. Throughout the day, 70,298 shares of Gulf Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 77,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.16-$1.19 after having opened the day at $1.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.15.

Gulf Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and trades in bromine and crude salt products in the People's Republic of China. It operates in three segments: Bromine, Crude Salt, and Chemical Products. Gulf Resources has a market cap of $44.5 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 51.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Gulf Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gulf Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on GURE go as follows:

  • GURE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.01 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 15.16, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Chemicals industry average. The net income increased by 5.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $5.36 million to $5.67 million.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market, GULF RESOURCES INC's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • GURE's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 52.92%, which is also worse than the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Gulf Resources Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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.

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