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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


Williams Companies



) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Williams Companies rose 47 cents (1.3%) to $37.46 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6.4 million shares of Williams Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $37.01-$37.68 after having opened the day at $37.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.99. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were:

BMB Munai



), up 22.9%,

Prospect Global Resources



), up 17.9%,

China Gengsheng Minerals



), up 13.8%, and

Oxford Resource Partners



), up 7%.

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The Williams Companies, Inc. operates as an energy infrastructure company. Williams Companies has a market cap of $25.34 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Williams Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Companies as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front,

GMX Resources



), down 10.6%,

Harvest Natural Resources



), down 7.6%,

Crosshair Energy



), down 7.5%, and

Comstock Mining



), down 6.9%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with

Anadarko Petroleum



) 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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