3 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 down 19 points (-0.1%) at 13,006 as of Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,239 issues advancing vs. 1,655 declining with 129 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Continental Resources ( CLR), up 5.8%, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG), up 2.6%, Cenovus Energy ( CVE), up 1.6%, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), up 1.5% and Teck Resources ( TCK), up 1.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Gold Fields ( GFI), down 3.8%, Anglogold Ashanti ( AU), down 2.2%, Newmont Mining Corporation ( NEM), down 2.1%, Goldcorp ( GG), down 1.5% and CF Industries Holdings ( CF), down 1.5%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Ultrapar Holdings ( UGP) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Ultrapar Holdings is up $0.23 (1.1%) to $20.79 on light volume Thus far, 162,948 shares of Ultrapar Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 608,600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $20.71-$20.92 after having opened the day at $20.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.56.

Ultrapar Holdings Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates in the petrochemicals industry. Ultrapar Holdings has a market cap of $11.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Ultrapar Holdings a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ultrapar Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Ultrapar Holdings Ratings Report now.

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