Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation rose $1.03 (1.2%) to $86.51 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.8 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $84.04-$86.63 after having opened the day at $86.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.48. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: McMoRan Exploration ( MMR), up 12.4%, Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), up 12.3%, Augusta Resource Corporation ( AZC), up 11.4%, and Forest Oil ( FST), up 10.5%.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing, and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $69.21 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.2, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 8.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental Petroleum Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, AuRico Gold ( AUQ), down 12.2%, HyperDynamics Corporation ( HDY), down 10.2%, Whiting USA Trust I ( WHX), down 9.2%, and Voyager Oil & Gas ( VOG), down 8.3%, were all losers within the basic materials sector with United States Steel Corporation ( X) being today's basic materials sector loser.

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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