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Newfield Exploration Company (NFX): 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

Newfield Exploration Company ( NFX) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.0%. By the end of trading, Newfield Exploration Company fell $0.38 (-1.7%) to $22.01 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,514,215 shares of Newfield Exploration Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,604,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $21.96-$22.59 after having opened the day at $22.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.39. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: TGC Industries ( TGE), down 8.3%, Quaterra Resources ( QMM), down 6.9%, Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), down 6.5% and Harry Winston Diamond ( HWD), down 6.0%.

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Newfield Exploration Company, an independent energy company, engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Its areas of operation include the Mid-Continent, the Rocky Mountains, and onshore Gulf Coast, as well as Malaysia and China. Newfield Exploration Company has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 16.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Newfield Exploration Company as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

On the positive front, L & L Energy ( LLEN), down 23.6%, FX Energy ( FXEN), down 15.7%, Century Aluminum Company ( CENX), down 12.2% and Noranda Aluminum ( NOR), down 8.9% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with BP ( BP) 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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