Noble Energy Inc (NBL): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Noble Energy ( NBL) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Noble Energy fell $0.79 (-1.2%) to $65.18 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,305,938 shares of Noble Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,078,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $65.17-$66.11 after having opened the day at $66.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.97. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 10.3%, MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), down 8.5%, Uranerz Energy Corporation ( URZ), down 8.4% and Lone Pine Resources ( LPR), down 8.0%.

Noble Energy, Inc., an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and marketing of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids primarily in the United States, West Africa, and Eastern Mediterranean. Noble Energy has a market cap of $23.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 29.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Noble Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Noble Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Alexco Resource ( AXU), up 18.5%, International Tower Hill Mines ( THM), up 16.9%, Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM), up 16.4% and Banro Corporation ( BAA), up 16.2% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Suncor Energy ( SU) 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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