Total SA (TOT): Today's Featured Energy Laggard

Total ( TOT) pushed the Energy industry lower today making it today's featured Energy laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Total fell 24 cents (-0.5%) to $45.68 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 7.2 million shares of Total exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $45.27-$45.86 after having opened the day at $45.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.92. Other company's within the Energy industry that declined today were: Lufkin Industries ( LUFK), down 21.4%, TGC Industries ( TGE), down 17.1%, Recovery Energy ( RECV), down 11.3%, and WSP Holdings ( WH), down 7.4%.

TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. Total has a market cap of $99.65 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.2, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 6.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 10.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Total a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Total as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Forest Oil ( FST), up 8.1%, ATP Oil & Gas ( ATPG), up 7.9%, CKX Lands ( CKX), up 7.1%, and Lone Pine Resources ( LPR), up 6.8%, were all gainers within the energy industry with Chevron ( CVX) 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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