BP PLC (BP): 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.

BP ( BP) 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, BP fell $0.46 (-1.1%) to $43.12 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,129,047 shares of BP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,236,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $42.96-$43.41 after having opened the day at $43.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.58. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Turquoise Hill Resources ( TRQ), down 19.7%, Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), down 14.9%, Entree Gold ( EGI), down 11.5% and Genie Energy Ltd Common Stock B ( GNE), down 7.8%.

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products. BP has a market cap of $137.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate BP a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 96.9%, USEC ( USU), up 51.1%, Uranium Resources ( URRE), up 28.2% and Tasman Metals ( TAS), up 24.4% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Agrium ( AGU) 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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