ConocoPhillips (COP): Today's Featured Basic Materials Loser

ConocoPhillips ( COP) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials loser. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1%. By the end of trading, ConocoPhillips fell $1.93 (-3.4%) to $54.58 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 14.1 million shares of ConocoPhillips exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $54.43-$55.83 after having opened the day at $55.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.51. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Endeavour International ( END), down 23.8%, Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), down 14.6%, Royale Energy ( ROYL), down 12%, and Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), down 11.3%.

ConocoPhillips operates as an integrated energy company primarily in the United States, Australia, Canada, Norway, Russia, and the United Kingdom. ConocoPhillips has a market cap of $91.19 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.8, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 22.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate ConocoPhillips a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ConocoPhillips as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Dejour Energy ( DEJ), up 18%, Balchem Corporation ( BCPC), up 9.6%, Senomyx ( SNMX), up 8.6%, and Pure Bioscience ( PURE), up 8.3%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD) 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).