Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.B): 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

Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Royal Dutch Shell rose $0.70 (1.0%) to $68.45 on light volume. Throughout the day, 715,177 shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,199,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $67.90-$68.59 after having opened the day at $68.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.75. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 16.9%, PostRock Energy ( PSTR), up 11.8%, Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), up 11.7% and Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 11.0%.
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Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $216.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the negative front, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 35.0%, Ossen Innovation ( OSN), down 20.0%, BMB Munai ( BMBM), down 18.8% and China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 15.3% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) 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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