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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