Nexen Inc. (NXY): 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.

Nexen ( NXY) 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, Nexen rose 91 cents (3.9%) to $24.36 on average volume. Throughout the day, 11 million shares of Nexen exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $23.48-$24.60 after having opened the day at $23.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.45. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Samson Oil & Gas ( SSN), up 20.1%, Ossen Innovation ( OSN), up 19.5%, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 12%, and Forbes Energy Services ( FES), up 10.7%.
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Nexen Inc. operates as an independent energy company worldwide. The company's Conventional Oil and Gas segment explores for, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas from conventional sources. Nexen has a market cap of $12.71 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 50.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Nexen a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Nexen as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Richmont Mines ( RIC), down 25.1%, Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), down 19.6%, Geokinetics ( GOK), down 15.8%, and USEC ( USU), down 14%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A) 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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