5 Stocks Pushing The Basic Materials Sector Higher

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the basic materials sector higher today, Nov. 15, 2012.

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

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 46 points (-0.4%) at 12,524 as of Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 887 issues advancing vs. 2,072 declining with 104 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Emerald Oil ( EOX), up 219.3%, Nexen ( NXY), up 2.2%, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), up 1.6%, Ecopetrol S.A ( EC), up 1.2% and Halliburton Company ( HAL), up 1.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Targa Resources Partners ( NGLS), down 7.4%, Williams Partners ( WPZ), down 3.5%, Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), down 2.6%, Yamana Gold ( AUY), down 1.9% and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP), down 2.2%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Helmerich & Payne ( HP) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Helmerich & Payne is up $2.26 (4.9%) to $48.32 on heavy volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Helmerich & Payne exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.04-$48.99 after having opened the day at $47.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.06.

Helmerich & Payne, Inc. engages in the contract drilling of oil and gas wells. It provides drilling rigs, equipments, personnel, and camps on a contract basis to explore for and develop oil and gas from onshore areas and fixed platforms, tension-leg platforms, and spars in offshore areas. Helmerich & Payne has a market cap of $4.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 19.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Helmerich & Payne a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Helmerich & Payne as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Helmerich & Payne Ratings Report now.

4. As of noon trading, Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ) is up $0.34 (1.2%) to $27.99 on average volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Canadian Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $27.32-$28.05 after having opened the day at $27.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.65.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, marketing, and sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and natural gas. Canadian Natural Resources has a market cap of $30.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 25.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Canadian Natural Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Canadian Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, 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 generally higher debt management risk. Get the full Canadian Natural Resources Ratings Report now.

3. As of noon trading, Total ( TOT) is up $0.30 (0.6%) to $47.82 on average volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Total exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.79-$48.23 after having opened the day at $47.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.51.

TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. Total has a market cap of $107.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Total a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Total as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Total Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, Cameron International Corporation ( CAM) is up $1.84 (3.6%) to $52.65 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.3 million shares of Cameron International Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.10-$53.15 after having opened the day at $51.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.81.

Cameron International Corporation provides flow equipment products, systems, and services worldwide. Cameron International Corporation has a market cap of $12.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate Cameron International Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cameron International Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Cameron International Corporation Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) is up $0.46 (1.6%) to $29.32 on light volume Thus far, 3.2 million shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $28.56-$29.36 after having opened the day at $28.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.86.

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company. The company operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and Retail. Valero Energy Corporation has a market cap of $16.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 37.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Valero Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valero Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Valero Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: 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.

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