Continental Resources Inc (CLR): Today's Featured Energy Laggard

Continental Resources ( CLR) pushed the Energy industry lower today making it today's featured Energy laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.8%. By the end of trading, Continental Resources fell 35 cents (-0.5%) to $67.04 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2.7 million shares of Continental Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $65.35-$68.10 after having opened the day at $67.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.39. Other company's within the Energy industry that declined today were: ATP Oil & Gas ( ATPG), down 28.2%, Whiting USA Trust I ( WHX), down 10%, Geokinetics ( GOK), down 9%, and Cubic Energy ( QBC), down 6.9%.

Continental Resources, Inc. engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas primarily in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. Continental Resources has a market cap of $12.52 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.2, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 19.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Continental Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Continental Resources as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the positive front, Recovery Energy ( RECV), up 12.8%, Key Energy Services ( KEG), up 12.1%, PostRock Energy ( PSTR), up 11.8%, and TransGlobe Energy Corporation ( TGA), up 9.7%, were all gainers within the energy industry with Schlumberger ( SLB) being today's featured energy industry leader.

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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