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.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 139 points (0.8%) at 17,996 as of Monday, March 9, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,624 issues advancing vs. 1,454 declining with 140 unchanged.

The Chemicals industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.4%. Top gainers within the Chemicals industry included NL Industries ( NL), up 1.9%, Gevo ( GEVO), up 12.7%, Landec ( LNDC), up 1.7%, Rentech Nitrogen Partners ( RNF), up 1.6% and Solazyme ( SZYM), up 4.2%.

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

Landec ( LNDC) is one of the companies that pushed the Chemicals industry higher today. Landec was up $0.23 (1.7%) to $13.91 on light volume. Throughout the day, 30,721 shares of Landec exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 86,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $13.61-$14.00 after having opened the day at $13.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.68.

Landec Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, and markets differentiated products in food and biomedical materials markets. It operates through three segments: Food Products Technology, Food Export, and Hyaluronan-Based Biomaterials. Landec has a market cap of $374.9 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 0.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Landec a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Landec as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LNDC go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.5%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, LNDC's share price has jumped by 28.69%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, LNDC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • LNDC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.23 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.92 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Food Products industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 6.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $3.45 million to $3.22 million.

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

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At the close, Gevo ( GEVO) was up $0.03 (12.7%) to $0.28 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 18,098,389 shares of Gevo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,512,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.27-$0.32 after having opened the day at $0.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.25.

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 $25.9 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 18.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Gevo 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.

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 80.60%, 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 -11.94%.
  • 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

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

NL Industries ( NL) was another company that pushed the Chemicals industry higher today. NL Industries was up $0.13 (1.9%) to $7.15 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 28,470 shares of NL Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $6.93-$7.43 after having opened the day at $7.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.02.

NL Industries, Inc., through its subsidiary, CompX International Inc., operates in the component products industry in the United States and internationally. NL Industries has a market cap of $350.5 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 18.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate NL Industries a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NL Industries as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NL go as follows:

  • The gross profit margin for NL INDUSTRIES is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 34.22%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 52.46% has significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • NL'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 36.74%, 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, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Commercial Services & Supplies industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 333.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$5.94 million to $13.89 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. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, NL INDUSTRIES's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • NL INDUSTRIES 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, NL INDUSTRIES swung to a loss, reporting -$1.13 versus $1.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.55 versus -$1.13).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: NL Industries 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.