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Schlumberger NV (SLB): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

Schlumberger (SLB) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.3%. By the end of trading, Schlumberger rose $1.33 (2%) to $66.72 on light volume. Throughout the day, five million shares of Schlumberger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $65.42-$66.93 after having opened the day at $65.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.39. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: WSP Holdings (WH), up 13.5%, Saratoga Resources (SARA), up 12.5%, Isramco (ISRL), up 11.2%, and Crosshair Energy (CXZ), up 10.4%.

Schlumberger Limited, together with its subsidiaries, supplies technology, integrated project management, and information solutions to the oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. Schlumberger has a market cap of $87.56 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.3, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 16.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 21 analysts that rate Schlumberger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Schlumberger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the basic materials sector could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd (SBM).

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