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


Canadian Natural Resources



) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Canadian Natural Resources fell 39 cents (-1.3%) to $29.74 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.7 million shares of Canadian Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $29.43-$30.07 after having opened the day at $30.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.13. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were:

Prospect Global Resources



), down 17.8%,

Energy Services of America Corporation



), down 13.1%,

Yanzhou Coal Mining Company



), down 11.5%, and

TOR Minerals International



), down 9.1%.

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Canadian Natural Resources Limited engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, marketing, and sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and natural gas. Canadian Natural Resources has a market cap of $32.55 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.7, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 20.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Canadian Natural Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Canadian Natural Resources as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front,

Recon Technology



), up 21%,

PostRock Energy



), up 15.9%,

NewMarket Corporation



), up 14.1%, and

Magellan Petroleum Corporation



), up 12.3%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with

EOG Resources



) 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



) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider

ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd




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