Total SA (TOT): 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.

Total ( TOT) pushed the Energy industry lower today making it today's featured Energy laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Total fell $1.21 (-2.3%) to $51.78 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.9 million shares of Total exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $51.45-$52.69 after having opened the day at $52.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.99. Other companies within the Energy industry that declined today were: ZaZa Energy ( ZAZA), down 6.9%, Quicksilver Resources ( KWK), down 6.1%, Eni SpA ( E), down 5%, and BreitBurn Energy Partners ( BBEP), down 4.9%.
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TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. Total has a market cap of $120.96 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Total a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

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

On the positive front, Gasco Energy ( GSX), up 22.3%, Hornbeck Offshore Services ( HOS), up 12.6%, GeoGlobal Resources ( GGR), up 10.8%, and Gastar Exploration ( GST), up 10.3%, were all gainers within the energy industry with Devon Energy ( DVN) 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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