National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV): Today's Featured Basic Materials Loser

National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.8%. By the end of trading, National Oilwell Varco fell $1.19 (-1.5%) to $76.83 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 7.1 million shares of National Oilwell Varco exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $74.49-$78.89 after having opened the day at $78.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.02. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Ikonics Corporation ( IKNX), down 11.3%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 10.1%, SMF Energy Corporation ( FUEL), down 9.1%, and Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), down 8.1%.

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. designs, constructs, manufactures, and sells systems, components, and products for oil and gas drilling and production, as well as provides oilfield services and supplies, and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. National Oilwell Varco has a market cap of $32.94 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.4, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate National Oilwell Varco a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Oilwell Varco 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, GeoResources ( GEOI), up 18.7%, Global Geophysical Services ( GGS), up 17.5%, Sino Clean Energy ( SCEI), up 15%, and Century Aluminum Company ( CENX), up 11.8%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) 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).