Ultra Petroleum Corporation (UPL): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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.

Ultra Petroleum Corporation ( UPL) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, Ultra Petroleum Corporation fell 21 cents (-1.1%) to $18.01 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.4 million shares of Ultra Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $17.91-$18.36 after having opened the day at $18.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.22. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: SandRidge Mississippian Trust II ( SDR), down 14.4%, Cubic Energy ( QBC), down 8.3%, China Natural Resources ( CHNR), down 7.9%, and Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), down 6.7%.
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Ultra Petroleum Corp., an independent oil and gas company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and operation of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. Ultra Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $2.78 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Ultra Petroleum Corporation a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ultra Petroleum Corporation as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Zion Oil & Gas ( ZN), up 13.8%, Gevo ( GEVO), up 10%, Alexco Resource ( AXU), up 9.9%, and Comstock Mining ( LODE), up 9.9%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Anadarko Petroleum ( APC) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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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