Halliburton Company (HAL): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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.

Halliburton Company ( HAL) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 2.6%. By the end of trading, Halliburton Company fell $1.05 (-3.2%) to $31.71 on average volume. Throughout the day, 16.3 million shares of Halliburton Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $30.35-$32.21 after having opened the day at $32.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.76. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: James River Coal Company ( JRCC), down 30%, BMB Munai ( BMBM), down 19.4%, Petroquest Energy ( PQ), down 17.8%, and China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources ( SHZ), down 13.8%.
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Halliburton Company provides various products and services to the energy industry for exploring, developing, and producing oil and natural gas worldwide. It operates in two segments, Completion and Production, and Drilling and Evaluation. Halliburton Company has a market cap of $29.96 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Halliburton Company a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Halliburton Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, HyperDynamics Corporation ( HDY), up 13.5%, Altair Nanotechnologies ( ALTI), up 9.4%, PostRock Energy ( PSTR), up 8.8%, and Coeur D'Alene Mines Corporation ( CDE), up 8.2%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Yamana Gold ( AUY) 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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