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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4. As of noon trading, Eni SpA ( E) is up $0.39 (0.8%) to $47.32 on average volume Thus far, 355,478 shares of Eni SpA exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 797,000 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.32-$47.82 after having opened the day at $47.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.93.

Eni SpA, an integrated energy company, engages in the exploration, production, transportation, transformation, and marketing of oil and natural gas. Eni SpA has a market cap of $84.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Eni SpA a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eni SpA as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Eni SpA Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Total ( TOT) is up $0.37 (0.7%) to $51.77 on light volume Thus far, 466,952 shares of Total exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.64-$52.09 after having opened the day at $51.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.40.

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 $115.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Total a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 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 shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Total Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, FMC Technologies ( FTI) is up $2.51 (5.2%) to $50.57 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.3 million shares of FMC Technologies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.12-$51.59 after having opened the day at $50.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.06.

FMC Technologies, Inc. provides technology solutions for the energy industry worldwide. It operates in three segments: Subsea Technologies, Surface Technologies, and Energy Infrastructure. FMC Technologies has a market cap of $11.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate FMC Technologies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FMC Technologies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full FMC Technologies Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Transocean ( RIG) is up $1.07 (1.9%) to $57.21 on light volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Transocean exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.52-$57.24 after having opened the day at $56.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.14.

Transocean Ltd. provides offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells worldwide. It offers deepwater and harsh environment drilling, oil and gas drilling management, and drilling engineering and drilling project management services. Transocean has a market cap of $20.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 24.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate Transocean a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Transocean as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Transocean Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: 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.

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