Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC): 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.

Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Marathon Petroleum rose $1.30 (2.2%) to $61.55 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4.8 million shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of three million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $60.28-$61.73 after having opened the day at $60.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.25. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: GeoGlobal Resources ( GGR), up 16.8%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), up 16.8%, Methes Energies International ( MEIL), up 12.8%, and Uranium Resources ( URRE), up 12.6%.
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $21.22 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

On the negative front, China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources ( SHZ), down 11.4%, Torch Energy Royalty ( TRU), down 10.1%, Triangle Petroleum ( TPLM), down 8.6%, and Gevo ( GEVO), down 8.1%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Halliburton Company ( HAL) 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).

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Let Jim Cramer show you every trade he is making in his $2.5 Million portfolio. Join now for 14-days FREE. Sign up today to get e-mail alerts before every trade.