Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (PBR.A): 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.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras rose 42 cents (2.3%) to $18.53 on average volume. Throughout the day, eight million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $18.15-$18.58 after having opened the day at $18.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.11. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Recovery Energy ( RECV), up 21.3%, Ivanhoe Energy ( IVAN), up 18.1%, Dejour Energy ( DEJ), up 17.3%, and Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 17.1%.
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Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. operates as an integrated oil and gas company in Brazil and internationally. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $117.92 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 22.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Metabolix ( MBLX), down 16.7%, GeoGlobal Resources ( GGR), down 11.9%, Sonde Resources ( SOQ), down 7.8%, and Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), down 7.1%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Tenaris ( TS) 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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