Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): 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.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation rose $1.78 (2.3%) to $78.30 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.2 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $76.48-$78.63 after having opened the day at $76.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.52. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Goodrich Petroleum ( GDP), up 12.6%, Crimson Exploration ( CXPO), up 11%, Abraxas Petroleum Corporation ( AXAS), up 9.6%, and Tronox ( TROX), up 9%.
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Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing, and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $61.71 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 18.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental Petroleum Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Lucas Energy ( LEI), down 16.4%, Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), down 14.7%, Uranium Resources ( URRE), down 14.6%, and China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 11.6%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Silver Wheaton Corporation ( SLW) 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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