4 Stocks Pushing The Basic Materials Sector Higher

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

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 14 points (0.1%) at 12,892 as of Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 12:00 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,435 issues advancing vs. 1,435 declining with 148 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.0%. Top gainers within the sector include Encana ( ECA), up 1.4%, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), up 0.8%, Total ( TOT), up 0.7%, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT), up 0.6% and Chevron ( CVX), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include InterOil Corporation ( IOC), down 5.5%, Ensco ( ESV), down 2.2%, Southwestern Energy Company ( SWN), down 1.8%, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG), down 1.6% and Continental Resources ( CLR), down 1.5%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

4. Imperial Oil ( IMO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Imperial Oil is up $0.24 (0.6%) to $42.96 on heavy volume Thus far, 220,376 shares of Imperial Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 199,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.23-$43.04 after having opened the day at $42.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.72.

Imperial Oil Limited engages in the exploration, production, and sale of crude oil and natural gas in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical. Imperial Oil has a market cap of $36.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Imperial Oil a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Imperial Oil as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Imperial Oil Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Enbridge ( ENB) is up $0.55 (1.4%) to $40.21 on average volume Thus far, 304,066 shares of Enbridge exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 545,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.43-$40.31 after having opened the day at $39.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.66.

Enbridge Inc. transports and distributes crude oil and natural gas primarily in North America. It operates crude oil and liquids transportation system comprising approximately 24,738 kilometers of crude pipeline. Enbridge has a market cap of $31.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 38.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Enbridge a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Enbridge as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full Enbridge Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Eni SpA ( E) is up $0.25 (0.6%) to $46.29 on average volume Thus far, 404,307 shares of Eni SpA exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 563,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $45.81-$46.42 after having opened the day at $45.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.04.

Eni SpA, an integrated energy company, engages in the exploration, production, transportation, transformation, and marketing of oil and natural gas. Eni SpA has a market cap of $84.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Eni SpA a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eni SpA as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Eni SpA Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Gulfport Energy Corporation ( GPOR) is up $4.61 (14.5%) to $36.34 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.6 million shares of Gulfport Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.95-$36.59 after having opened the day at $33.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.73.

Gulfport Energy Corporation engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties. Its principal properties are located in the Louisiana Gulf Coast, in west Texas in the Permian Basin and in western Colorado in the Niobrara Formation. Gulfport Energy Corporation has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Gulfport Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gulfport 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 expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Gulfport Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 4 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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