Hess Corp (HES): 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.

Hess ( HES) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Hess rose 82 cents (1.5%) to $55.84 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.5 million shares of Hess exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $55.10-$55.94 after having opened the day at $55.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.02. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 16.3%, Tengasco ( TGC), up 15.4%, Pure Bioscience ( PURE), up 13.8%, and China Natural Resources ( CHNR), up 13.1%.
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Hess Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company. The company operates in two segments, Exploration and Production (E&P) and Marketing and Refining (M&R). Hess has a market cap of $18.51 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Hess a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hess as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and generally higher debt management risk.

On the negative front, Ferro ( FOE), down 15.3%, Saratoga Resources ( SARA), down 9.2%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 8.4%, and Gold Reserve ( GRZ), down 8.1%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) 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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