Weatherford International Ltd (WFT): Today's Featured Basic Materials Leader

Weatherford International ( WFT) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials leader. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.7%. By the end of trading, Weatherford International rose 51 cents (4%) to $13.20 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 15.7 million shares of Weatherford International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $12.77-$13.24 after having opened the day at $12.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.69. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: USEC ( USU), up 11.1%, Whiting USA Trust I ( WHX), up 10.8%, Baker Hughes ( BHI), up 9.1%, and Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 8.4%.

Weatherford International Ltd. provides equipment and services used in the drilling, evaluation, completion, production, and intervention of oil and natural gas wells worldwide. Weatherford International has a market cap of $9.74 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.5, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 29.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 13.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Weatherford International a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Weatherford International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

On the negative front, Gold Resource ( GORO), down 30.6%, Lizhan Environmental ( LZEN), down 18.2%, Universal Stainless & Alloy Products ( USAP), down 13.6%, and Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), down 12.8%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Total ( TOT) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

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).