Southwestern Energy Company (SWN): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

Southwestern Energy Company ( SWN) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Southwestern Energy Company fell 78 cents (-2.4%) to $32.04 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.3 million shares of Southwestern Energy Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $31.36-$32.40 after having opened the day at $32.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.82. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: ATP Oil & Gas ( ATPG), down 72.5%, GeoMet ( GMET), down 30.1%, Geokinetics ( GOK), down 14.3%, and Delek US Holdings ( DK), down 11.8%.

Southwestern Energy Company, an independent energy company, engages in the exploration, development, and production of natural gas and crude oil in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream Services. Southwestern Energy Company has a market cap of $11.12 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Southwestern Energy Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southwestern Energy Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Houston American Energy Corporation ( HUSA), up 37.9%, Yongye International ( YONG), up 11.3%, Sonde Resources ( SOQ), up 10.3%, and American Pacific Corporation ( APFC), up 8.9%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Ecopetrol S.A ( EC) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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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