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Marathon Oil Corp (MRO): 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

Marathon Oil (MRO) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Marathon Oil fell $0.63 (-1.9%) to $33.40 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,681,913 shares of Marathon Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,985,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $33.36-$34.43 after having opened the day at $34.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.03. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Pacific Booker Minerals (PBM), down 18.4%, Cardero Resources Corporation (CDY), down 14.5%, USEC (USU), down 8.3% and Midway Gold (MDW), down 7.4%.

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Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company worldwide. Marathon Oil has a market cap of $24.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Marathon Oil a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Oil as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Ceres (CERE), down 77.3%, Great Basin Gold (GBG), down 19.1%, Royale Energy (ROYL), down 13.9% and Gold Standard Ventures (GSV), down 11.7% , 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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