Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.B): 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.

Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.0%. By the end of trading, Royal Dutch Shell fell $3.66 (-5.2%) to $67.21 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,729,506 shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,072,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $67.01-$67.68 after having opened the day at $67.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.87. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Kimber Resources ( KBX), down 17.2%, Ossen Innovation ( OSN), down 14.8%, Quaterra Resources ( QMM), down 13.6% and Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), down 12.1%.

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 $222.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 0.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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 sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), up 56.3%, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 22.9%, Exeter Resource Corporation ( XRA), up 21.9% and Samson Oil & Gas ( SSN), up 20.8% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Halliburton Company ( HAL) 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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