Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC): 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

Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Marathon Petroleum fell $1.22 (-1.5%) to $82.41 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,210,032 shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,451,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $82.25-$84.15 after having opened the day at $83.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $83.63. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: 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%.
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Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Pipeline Transportation segments. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $26.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 32.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

On the positive front, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), down 16.9%, PostRock Energy ( PSTR), down 11.8%, Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), down 11.7% and Lightbridge ( LTBR), down 11.0% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B) 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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