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Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Murphy Oil Corporation fell $1.18 (-2.1%) to $53.82 on average volume. Throughout the day, two million shares of Murphy Oil Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $53.53-$54.85 after having opened the day at $54.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Entree Gold (EGI), down 16.6%, Ferrellgas Partners (FGP), down 11.1%, Hugoton Royalty (HGT), down 9.3%, and TGC Industries (TGE), down 7.7%.

Murphy Oil Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties worldwide. It explores for and produces crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Murphy Oil Corporation has a market cap of $10.74 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 12.2 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Murphy Oil Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Murphy Oil Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, China Gengsheng Minerals (CHGS), up 12.8%, Avino Silver & Gold Mines (ASM), up 9.7%, James River Coal Company (JRCC), up 9.2%, and Sonde Resources (SOQ), up 8.6%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Silver Wheaton Corporation (SLW) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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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