BP PLC (BP): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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

BP ( BP) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.0%. By the end of trading, BP rose $0.43 (1.0%) to $42.63 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6,125,348 shares of BP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,253,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $42.21-$42.81 after having opened the day at $42.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.20. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: L & L Energy ( LLEN), up 23.6%, FX Energy ( FXEN), up 15.7%, Century Aluminum Company ( CENX), up 12.2% and Noranda Aluminum ( NOR), up 8.9%.
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BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products. BP has a market cap of $134.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 422.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the negative front, TGC Industries ( TGE), down 8.3%, Quaterra Resources ( QMM), down 6.9%, Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), down 6.5% and Harry Winston Diamond ( HWD), down 6.0% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Newfield Exploration Company ( NFX) 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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