Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (PBR.A): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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

Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras fell $0.47 (-2.3%) to $19.60 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 12,570,049 shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,143,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $19.50-$20.14 after having opened the day at $20.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.07. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: BMB Munai ( BMBM), down 34.3%, Ceres ( CERE), down 9.8%, Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), down 9.6% and L & L Energy ( LLEN), down 9.1%.
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Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. operates as an integrated oil and gas company in Brazil and internationally. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $132.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM), down 38.0%, Houston American Energy Corporation ( HUSA), down 32.3%, Molycorp ( MCP), down 31.3% and Rare Element Resources ( REE), down 28.0% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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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