SM Energy Co (SM): Today's Featured Energy Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

SM Energy ( SM) pushed the Energy industry lower today making it today's featured Energy laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.6%. By the end of trading, SM Energy fell 60 cents (-1.2%) to $50.96 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.2 million shares of SM Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $50.91-$53.40 after having opened the day at $52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.56. Other companies within the Energy industry that declined today were: GeoGlobal Resources ( GGR), down 32.1%, GeoPetro Resources Company ( GPR), down 7.4%, FX Energy ( FXEN), down 4.8%, and BreitBurn Energy Partners ( BBEP), down 4%.

SM Energy Company, an independent energy company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, exploitation, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids in North America. SM Energy has a market cap of $3.11 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.2, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 20.1 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 29.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate SM Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates SM Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, Cubic Energy ( QBC), up 8.6%, BPZ Resources ( BPZ), up 8.4%, Vantage Drilling ( VTG), up 8.3%, and Gastar Exploration ( GST), up 8.2%, 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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