Schlumberger

(

SLB

) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Schlumberger fell 44 cents (-0.7%) to $65.41 on light volume. Throughout the day, six million shares of Schlumberger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $65.11-$66.33 after having opened the day at $65.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.85. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were:

Geokinetics

(

GOK

), down 14.1%,

Ossen Innovation

(

OSN

), down 9.8%,

Entree Gold

(

EGI

), down 6.3%, and

HyperDynamics Corporation

(

HDY

), down 5.3%.

Schlumberger Limited, together with its subsidiaries, supplies technology, integrated project management, and information solutions to the oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. Schlumberger has a market cap of $88.55 billion and is part of the

energy

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.7, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 16.8 and equal to the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 23 analysts that rate Schlumberger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Schlumberger as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front,

China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources

(

SHZ

), up 21.2%,

Extorre Gold Mines

(

XG

), up 17.5%,

Recon Technology

(

RCON

), up 15.2%, and

USEC

(

USU

), up 10.1%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with

Marathon Oil

(

MRO

) being today's featured basic materials sector winner.

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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