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 lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1%. By the end of trading, Williams Companies fell 42 cents (-1.3%) to $32.58 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.2 million shares of Williams Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $32.39-$33.23 after having opened the day at $33.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were:

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%.

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The Williams Companies, Inc. operates as an energy infrastructure company in the United States. Williams Companies has a market cap of $20.51 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate Williams Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Companies as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front,

Pacific Booker Minerals



), up 41.8%,

Samson Oil & Gas



), up 15.8%,

WSP Holdings



), up 13.2%, and

Lone Pine Resources



), up 10.6%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with

Valero Energy Corporation



) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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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