Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY) In The Basic Materials Spotlight Today

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.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.4%. By the end of trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation rose $1.73 (2.2%) to $80.68 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 8.5 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $79.25-$81.73 after having opened the day at $79.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.95. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 18.8%, BMB Munai ( BMBM), up 8.7%, New Concept Energy ( GBR), up 7.2%, and ECA Marcellus Trust I ( ECT), up 6.7%.
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Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $63.14 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental Petroleum Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 12%, Allied Nevada Gold ( ANV), down 11.3%, Saratoga Resources ( SARA), down 11.2%, and Dejour Energy ( DEJ), down 10.8%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Newmont Mining Corporation ( NEM) 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).

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