Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): Today's Featured Energy Winner

Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) pushed the Energy industry higher today making it today's featured energy winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1%. By the end of trading, Valero Energy Corporation rose 15 cents (0.6%) to $24.56 on average volume. Throughout the day, seven million shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $23.92-$24.63 after having opened the day at $24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.41. Other companies within the Energy industry that increased today were: Geokinetics ( GOK), up 9.3%, Dejour Energy ( DEJ), up 8.9%, WSP Holdings ( WH), up 5.8%, and Ivanhoe Energy ( IVAN), up 5.5%.

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company. The company operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and Retail. Valero Energy Corporation has a market cap of $13.83 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.2, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate Valero Energy Corporation a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

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

On the negative front, PostRock Energy ( PSTR), down 9.2%, KiOR ( KIOR), down 6.5%, Apco Oil and Gas International ( APAGF), down 6.2%, and BPZ Resources ( BPZ), down 5.9%, were all losers within the energy industry with Schlumberger ( SLB) 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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