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

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 0.9%. By the end of trading, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras fell $0.36 (-2.4%) to $14.66 on average volume. Throughout the day, 10,391,280 shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,473,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $14.46-$14.81 after having opened the day at $14.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.02. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: GMX Resources ( GMXRQ), down 92.2%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), down 19.9%, Golden Star Resources ( GSS), down 16.0% and Mines Management ( MGN), down 14.5%.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras operates as an integrated oil and gas company in Brazil and internationally. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $97.5 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 down 22.2% 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 attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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 positive front, International Tower Hill Mines ( THM), up 25.0%, Alexco Resource ( AXU), up 23.0%, Sandstorm Gold ( SAND), up 19.6% and Fortuna Silver Mines ( FSM), up 18.2% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Walter Energy ( WLT) 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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