Suncor Energy Inc (SU): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

Suncor Energy ( SU) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Suncor Energy rose 28 cents (0.9%) to $32.27 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3.6 million shares of Suncor Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $31.70-$32.28 after having opened the day at $31.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.99. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Mission NewEnergy ( MNEL), up 16.5%, TOR Minerals International ( TORM), up 15.2%, Westmoreland Coal ( WLB), up 10.4%, and Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM), up 9.8%.

Suncor Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company. Suncor Energy has a market cap of $49.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.9, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 12.2 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Suncor Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suncor Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, 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 has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, TPC Group ( TPCG), down 11.6%, Recon Technology ( RCON), down 11.1%, Newpark Resources ( NR), down 10.9%, and Key Energy Services ( KEG), down 10.3%, were all losers within the basic materials sector with Weatherford International ( WFT) being today's basic materials sector loser.

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).