BP PLC (BP): Today's Featured Energy Laggard

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.

BP ( BP) pushed the Energy industry lower today making it today's featured Energy laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, BP fell 53 cents (-1.2%) to $44.48 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6.8 million shares of BP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $44.47-$44.99 after having opened the day at $44.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.01. Other companies within the Energy industry that declined today were: Torch Energy Royalty ( TRU), down 8%, GeoGlobal Resources ( GGR), down 7.7%, TransGlobe Energy Corporation ( TGA), down 6.7%, and Penn Virginia Corporation ( PVA), down 5.5%.
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BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products. BP has a market cap of $140.28 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are six analysts that rate BP a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Houston American Energy Corporation ( HUSA), up 14.4%, Delek US Holdings ( DK), up 9.5%, Gasco Energy ( GSX), up 8.7%, and Sonde Resources ( SOQ), up 8.7%, were all gainers within the energy industry with Chevron ( CVX) being today's featured energy industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the energy industry could consider Energy Select Sector SPDR ( XLE) while those bearish on the energy industry could consider Proshares Short Oil & Gas ( DDG).

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