BP PLC (BP): Today's Featured Energy Winner

BP ( BP) pushed the Energy industry higher today making it today's featured energy winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, BP rose 44 cents (1.1%) to $41.47 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.3 million shares of BP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $41.07-$41.60 after having opened the day at $41.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.03. Other companies within the Energy industry that increased today were: Recon Technology ( RCON), up 20.7%, GeoPetro Resources Company ( GPR), up 18.8%, PostRock Energy ( PSTR), up 9.7%, and Whiting USA Trust I ( WHX), up 8.3%.

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products. BP has a market cap of $126.64 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of five, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 5.2 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate BP a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and generally poor debt management.

On the negative front, GeoMet ( GMET), down 16%, Tesco Corporation ( TESO), down 15.2%, Cubic Energy ( QBC), down 10.7%, and Adams Resources & Energy ( AE), down 4.9%, were all laggards within the energy industry with EOG Resources ( EOG) being today's energy industry laggard.

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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