Kraton Performance Polymers Shares Soared: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Yesterday, we regaled you with the story of how one subject of a KeyBanc Capital Markets downgrade -- Ferro (NYS: FOE) -- took it on the chin when investors panicked over the analyst's comments. But if you recall, Ferro wasn't the only specialty chemicals maker that got "keyed" yesterday. Quaker Chemical (NYS: KWR) , Omnova Solutions (NYS: OMN) , PolyOne (NYS: POL) , and Kraton Performance Polymers (NYS: KRA) all got hit, too.

Today, one of these lucky five is bouncing right back from its funk: Kraton shares are up 10%, making the stock literally one of the best performers on the NYSE today.

So what: Several of the other stocks panned by KeyBanc yesterday enjoyed bounces today as well (Omnova being the sole, sad exception). However, there doesn't seem to be a good reason for any of them. It's a bounce off a hard selloff -- plain and simple.

Now what: As such, I wouldn't read too much into Kraton's suddenly discovery of the mystery of flight. I mean, this stock has lost 40% of its value in the past 52 weeks, and not for no good reason. While Kraton looks cheap at 5.5 times earnings, that P/E ratio doesn't factor in the company's subpar growth rate (8% projected for the next five years), its mountain of debt (in excess of $300 million), or the fact that GAAP earnings at the company overstate true free cash flow by a factor of two. Put it all together, and if I were a Kraton shareholder, I'd be using today's bounce as a chance to cash out before the stock's slide resumes.

Disagree? Think Kraton's run is just getting started?Add it to your Fool Watchlistand see if you're right.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorRich Smithdoes not own (or short) shares of any company named above. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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