Statoil ASA (STO): Today's Featured Basic Materials Loser

Statoil ASA ( STO) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.5%. By the end of trading, Statoil ASA fell 12 cents (-0.5%) to $22.15 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.6 million shares of Statoil ASA exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $22-$22.26 after having opened the day at $22.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.27. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Patriot Coal Corporation ( PCX), down 14.5%, GeoPetro Resources Company ( GPR), down 13.3%, China Natural Resources ( CHNR), down 10.3%, and Samson Oil & Gas ( SSN), down 9.3%.

Statoil ASA, an integrated energy company, engages in the exploration, production, transportation, refining, and marketing of petroleum and petroleum-derived products in Norway and internationally. Statoil ASA has a market cap of $70.98 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.4, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 5.2 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 13% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Statoil ASA a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Statoil ASA as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Metabolix ( MBLX), up 31.1%, Jaguar Mining ( JAG), up 22.1%, Lake Shore Gold ( LSG), up 13%, and Polymet Mining ( PLM), up 11.4%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Dow Chemical ( DOW) 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).