LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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.

LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, LyondellBasell Industries rose 56 cents (1.1%) to $52.50 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.7 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of four million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $52.22-$53.62 after having opened the day at $52.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.94. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Geokinetics ( GOK), up 32%, Cereplast ( CERP), up 15.5%, Lucas Energy ( LEI), up 14.2%, and Northern Dynasty Minerals ( NAK), up 14.1%.
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LyondellBasell Industries N.V. manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers, refines crude oil, produces gasoline blending components, and develops and licenses technologies for the production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $29.89 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.8, below the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 14.9 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 59.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the negative front, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 13.7%, Royale Energy ( ROYL), down 11.1%, China Precision Steel ( CPSL), down 10%, and Primero Mining ( PPP), down 8.9%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Apache Corporation ( APA) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

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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