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: Shares of chemicals and plastics manufacturer Georgia Gulf (NYSE: GGI) look caustic today, falling as much as 12.9% on about four times their average trading volume.

So what: Georgia Gulf just reported earnings of $0.35 per share on $788 million in sales, which was below the $0.40 analyst target for earnings despite a serious outperformance on the top line -- the Street would have settled for $736 million. The bottom-line shortfall was explained by rising materials costs, which generally means oil and natural gas in this industry.

Now what: The market largely shrugged off the news when Georgia Gulf declared a "force majeure" event at its PVC factory in Louisiana last month, but that misfortune will hold PVC production back well into the second quarter. The company is waiting for a global recovery in commercial and residential construction to drive demand and efficiency-boosting operating rates, but it just hasn't happened yet. Georgia Gulf sports among the thinnest profit margins in its industry, far below peers Olin (NYSE: OLN), Huntsman (NYSE: HUN), and Rockwood Holdings (NYSE: ROC), and it also the lowest CAPS rating of the bunch. If you're interested in chemicals as an investment, you're probably better off looking at Georgia Gulf's peers.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. The Fool owns shares of and has written puts on Rockwood Holdings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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 is investors writing for investors.