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Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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.

Helmerich & Payne (HP) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Helmerich & Payne rose 75 cents (1.2%) to $63.33 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, two million shares of Helmerich & Payne exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $62.25-$63.60 after having opened the day at $62.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.58. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Copano Energy (CPNO), up 14.8%, Polymet Mining (PLM), up 9.8%, Cubic Energy (QBC), up 9.1%, and Atlatsa Resources (ATL), up 8.1%.

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Helmerich & Payne, Inc. engages in the contract drilling of oil and gas wells. It provides drilling rigs, equipments, personnel, and camps on a contract basis to explore for and develop oil and gas from onshore areas and fixed platforms, tension-leg platforms, and spars in offshore areas. Helmerich & Payne has a market cap of $6.62 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Helmerich & Payne a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Helmerich & Payne 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, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, BMB Munai (BMBM), down 18%, Ossen Innovation (OSN), down 13.1%, Jaguar Mining (JAG), down 9.7%, and GeoGlobal Resources (GGR), down 7.8%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Apache Corporation (APA) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

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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