BP PLC (BP): Today's Featured Energy Winner

BP ( BP) pushed the Energy industry higher today making it today's featured energy winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.5%. By the end of trading, BP rose $1.10 (2.6%) to $43.29 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6.1 million shares of BP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $42.41-$43.34 after having opened the day at $42.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.19. Other companies within the Energy industry that increased today were: Houston American Energy Corporation ( HUSA), up 35%, Recon Technology ( RCON), up 21.4%, Geokinetics ( GOK), up 11%, and HyperDynamics Corporation ( HDY), up 8.4%.

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products. BP has a market cap of $132.55 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.2, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate BP a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Mission NewEnergy ( MNEL), down 9.8%, GeoGlobal Resources ( GGR), down 8.6%, Torch Energy Royalty ( TRU), down 5.5%, and Constellation Energy Partners ( CEP), down 5.4%, were all losers within the energy industry with Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) being today's energy industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the energy industry could consider Energy Select Sector SPDR ( XLE) while those bearish on the energy industry could consider Proshares Short Oil & Gas ( DDG).
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