Weatherford International Ltd (WFT): Today's Featured Basic Materials Loser

Weatherford International ( WFT) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Weatherford International fell 43 cents (-2.9%) to $14.53 on light volume. Throughout the day, 9.7 million shares of Weatherford International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $14.53-$15 after having opened the day at $14.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.96. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: 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%.

Weatherford International Ltd. provides equipment and services used in the drilling, evaluation, completion, production, and intervention of oil and natural gas wells worldwide. Weatherford International has a market cap of $11 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 42.6, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and 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 Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Weatherford International a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Weatherford International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, 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 positive front, 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%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Suncor Energy ( SU) 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).