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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2. As of noon trading, Seadrill ( SDRL) is up $0.42 (1.1%) to $38.95 on average volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Seadrill exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.60-$39.00 after having opened the day at $38.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.53.

Seadrill Limited provides offshore drilling services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. Its services include drilling, completion, and maintenance of offshore wells; production drilling and well maintenance; and well services. Seadrill has a market cap of $18.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Seadrill a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Seadrill as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Seadrill Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Kinder Morgan ( KMI) is up $0.19 (0.6%) to $34.00 on light volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Kinder Morgan exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.92-$34.22 after having opened the day at $34.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.81.

Kinder Morgan, Inc. owns and operates energy transportation and storage assets in the United States and Canada. The company operates in six segments: Products Pipelines-KMP, Natural Gas Pipelines KMP, CO2 KMP, Terminals KMP, Kinder Morgan Canada KMP, and NGPL PipeCo LLC. Kinder Morgan has a market cap of $35.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 67.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Kinder Morgan a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kinder Morgan as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Kinder Morgan Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 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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