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United States Steel Corporation (X): 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.

United States Steel Corporation ( X) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, United States Steel Corporation fell 26 cents (-1.2%) to $21.41 on light volume. Throughout the day, 5.8 million shares of United States Steel Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $21.35-$22.07 after having opened the day at $22.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.67. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), down 13.7%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), down 10.8%, Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF), down 10.5%, and Entree Gold ( EGI), down 10.2%.

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United States Steel Corporation engages in the production and sale of steel mill products in North America and Europe. The company operates in three segments: Flat-rolled Products (Flat-rolled), U. S. Steel Europe (USSE), and Tubular Products (Tubular). United States Steel Corporation has a market cap of $3.16 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 17.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate United States Steel Corporation a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates United States Steel Corporation as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and deteriorating net income.

On the positive front, Carbo Ceramics ( CRR), up 17.6%, KiOR ( KIOR), up 12.2%, Ivanhoe Energy ( IVAN), up 12.1%, and Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), up 11.8%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Goldcorp ( GG) 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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