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


Valero Energy Corporation



) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1%. By the end of trading, Valero Energy Corporation rose 59 cents (1.9%) to $32.24 on average volume. Throughout the day, 9.8 million shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $31.82-$32.34 after having opened the day at $31.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.65. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were:

Pacific Booker Minerals



), up 41.8%,

Samson Oil & Gas



), up 15.8%,

WSP Holdings



), up 13.2%, and

Lone Pine Resources



), up 10.6%.

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Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company. The company operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and Retail. Valero Energy Corporation has a market cap of $17.24 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 50.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Valero Energy Corporation a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valero Energy Corporation as a


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

On the negative front,

Torch Energy Royalty



), down 10%,

China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources



), down 9.2%,

Syntroleum Corporation



), down 7.1%, and

GeoPetro Resources Company



), down 6.4%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with

Williams Companies



) 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




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