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The Chemicals industry as a whole closed the day down 1.4% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.3%. Laggards within the Chemicals industry included Lightbridge ( LTBR), down 6.2%, Oil-Dri Corp of America ( ODC), down 1.8%, Metabolix ( MBLX), down 4.7%, Ceres ( CERE), down 11.9% and Gevo ( GEVO), down 4.8%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today:

Gevo ( GEVO) is one of the companies that pushed the Chemicals industry lower today. Gevo was down $0.01 (4.8%) to $0.25 on light volume. Throughout the day, 980,670 shares of Gevo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,510,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.25-$0.26 after having opened the day at $0.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.26.

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 $24.7 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 22.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Gevo a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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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 79.86%, 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. In addition, GEVO INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -12.58%.
  • 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 (-$0.75 versus -$1.49).

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

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At the close, Ceres ( CERE) was down $0.05 (11.9%) to $0.40 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,096,008 shares of Ceres exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 791,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.39-$0.48 after having opened the day at $0.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.45.

Ceres, Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company, develops and sells energy crops to produce renewable bioenergy feedstocks in North America. Ceres has a market cap of $25.6 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 87.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Ceres a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ceres as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CERE go as follows:

  • CERE'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 77.40%, 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to -$6.29 million or 10.87% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 10.87%, CERES INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -12.58%.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, CERES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • CERE, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 18.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 47.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • CERE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 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 5.14, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

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

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Metabolix ( MBLX) was another company that pushed the Chemicals industry lower today. Metabolix was down $0.04 (4.7%) to $0.82 on light volume. Throughout the day, 63,974 shares of Metabolix exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 228,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.82-$0.91 after having opened the day at $0.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.86.

Metabolix has a market cap of $131.1 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 109.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Metabolix a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates 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.