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Williams Companies Inc (WMB): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Williams Companies ( WMB) 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, Williams Companies fell $0.49 (-1.2%) to $38.96 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,252,537 shares of Williams Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,734,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $38.73-$39.58 after having opened the day at $39.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.45. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Timmins Gold ( TGD), down 12.7%, Iamgold ( IAG), down 11.9%, Penn West Petroleum ( PWE), down 10.1% and Dejour Energy ( DEJ), down 9.7%.

The Williams Companies, Inc. operates as an energy infrastructure company. Williams Companies has a market cap of $26.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Williams Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the positive front, Mines Management ( MGN), up 19.4%, Rare Element Resources ( REE), up 13.0%, China Natural Resources ( CHNR), up 12.8% and Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), up 12.8% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) 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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