Chesapeake Energy

(

CHK

) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Chesapeake Energy rose 12 cents (0.6%) to $18.82 on light volume. Throughout the day, 15.9 million shares of Chesapeake Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 33.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $18.51-$19.04 after having opened the day at $18.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.70. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were:

Uranium Resources

(

URRE

), up 50.9%,

James River Coal Company

(

JRCC

), up 16.8%,

Recovery Energy

(

RECV

), up 14.3%, and

GeoMet

(

GMET

), up 12.9%.

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of natural gas and oil properties in the United States. The company also offers marketing, midstream, drilling, and other oilfield services. Chesapeake Energy has a market cap of $12.23 billion and is part of the

energy

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.3, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 7.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 16.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Chesapeake Energy a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chesapeake Energy as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and generally poor debt management.

On the negative front,

Midway Gold

(

MDW

), down 11.5%,

WSP Holdings

(

WH

), down 11%,

Mexco Energy Corporation

(

MXC

), down 9.2%, and

Comstock Resources

(

CRK

), down 9.2%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with

Occidental Petroleum Corporation

(

OXY

) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

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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