ConocoPhillips (COP): 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.

ConocoPhillips ( COP) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, ConocoPhillips rose 71 cents (1.2%) to $59.98 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.6 million shares of ConocoPhillips exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of six million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $59.17-$59.98 after having opened the day at $59.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.27. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Jaguar Mining ( JAG), up 32%, U.S. Energy ( USEG), up 22.1%, Syntroleum Corporation ( SYNM), up 17.2%, and OM Group ( OMG), up 11.8%.
  • 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.

ConocoPhillips explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas and bitumen on a worldwide basis. ConocoPhillips has a market cap of $71.95 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate ConocoPhillips a buy, four analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ConocoPhillips as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, BMB Munai ( BMBM), down 16.3%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 11.1%, Gasco Energy ( GSX), down 9.6%, and Gold Standard Ventures ( GSV), down 6.8%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with InterOil Corporation ( IOC) 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).

It's Official: Action Alerts PLUS beats the S&P 500 with Dividends Reinvested! Cramer and Link were up 16.72% in 2012. Were you? See what they are trading for 14-days FREE.