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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


Continental Resources



) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Continental Resources rose $1.27 (1.7%) to $74.20 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.1 million shares of Continental Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $72.81-$74.26 after having opened the day at $72.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.93. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were:

Lizhan Environmental



), up 55.6%,

Magellan Petroleum Corporation



), up 29.6%,

Gasco Energy



), up 14.2%, and

Northern Dynasty Minerals



), up 14%.

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Continental Resources, Inc. engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas primarily in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. Continental Resources has a market cap of $13.21 billion and is part of the


industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.3, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 16.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Continental Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Continental Resources as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front,




), down 17.1%,

Pacific Ethanol



), down 14.7%,

China Precision Steel



), down 13.2%, and

Claude Resources



), down 9.5%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with

Weatherford International



) 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



) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider

ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd