Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): 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.

Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Valero Energy Corporation rose 72 cents (2.5%) to $29.58 on average volume. Throughout the day, 8.3 million shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of nine million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $28.56-$29.75 after having opened the day at $28.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.86. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Emerald Oil ( EOX), up 225.8%, Recon Technology ( RCON), up 137.1%, Camac Energy ( CAK), up 29.8%, and Pure Bioscience ( PURE), up 16.4%.
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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 $16.17 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, one analyst rates it a sell, and four 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.

On the negative front, General Steel Holdings ( GSI), down 19.5%, HyperDynamics Corporation ( HDY), down 15.7%, Recovery Energy ( RECV), down 14.2%, and Sandstorm Gold ( SAND), down 12.3%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) 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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