Halliburton Company (HAL): Today's Featured Basic Materials Loser

Halliburton Company ( HAL) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials loser. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.9%. By the end of trading, Halliburton Company fell 64 cents (-2.2%) to $28.36 on average volume. Throughout the day, 13.7 million shares of Halliburton Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 15.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $28.08-$29.45 after having opened the day at $29.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: James River Coal Company ( JRCC), down 24.7%, GeoGlobal Resources ( GGR), down 18.2%, Jaguar Mining ( JAG), down 17.3%, and BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 12.7%.

Halliburton Company provides various products and services to the energy industry for exploring, developing, and producing oil and natural gas worldwide. It operates in two segments, Completion and Production, and Drilling and Evaluation. Halliburton Company has a market cap of $27.04 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.6, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 9.2 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 15.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate Halliburton Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Halliburton Company as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Patriot Coal Corporation ( PCX), up 126.2%, Cereplast ( CERP), up 10.6%, A Schulman ( SHLM), up 8.7%, and Comstock Mining ( LODE), up 8.7%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP) 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).

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