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Spectra Energy Corp (SE): 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.

Spectra Energy (SE) 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, Spectra Energy fell 36 cents (-1.2%) to $28.95 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3.9 million shares of Spectra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.7 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $28.87-$29.46 after having opened the day at $29.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.31. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Prospect Global Resources (PGRX), down 39.6%, BMB Munai (BMBM), down 10.4%, GeoGlobal Resources (GGR), down 10.1%, and Oxford Resource Partners (OXF), down 8.6%.

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Spectra Energy Corp engages in the ownership and operation of a portfolio of natural gas-related energy assets in North America. The company's U.S. Spectra Energy has a market cap of $19.52 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Spectra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Spectra Energy as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Endeavour Silver Corporation (EXK), up 12.5%, Rubicon Minerals (RBY), up 12%, Northern Dynasty Minerals (NAK), up 10.4%, and BioFuel Energy Corporation (BIOF), up 10%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX) 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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