5 Stocks Pushing The Basic Materials Sector Higher

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

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 57 points (-0.4%) at 13,961 as of Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 11:45 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,624 issues advancing vs. 1,238 declining with 155 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include Devon Energy ( DVN), up 3.3%, and LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB), up 2.7%. A company within the sector that fell today was Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A), up 1.5%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Ecopetrol S.A ( EC) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Ecopetrol S.A is up $0.32 (0.5%) to $61.28 on light volume Thus far, 134,017 shares of Ecopetrol S.A exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 370,000 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $60.58-$61.36 after having opened the day at $60.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.96.

Ecopetrol S.A., an integrated oil company, engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas. As of December 31, 2011, its proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas totaled 1,856.7 million barrels of oil equivalent. Ecopetrol S.A has a market cap of $125.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Ecopetrol S.A a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ecopetrol S.A as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Ecopetrol S.A Ratings Report now.

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