Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (PBR.A): 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.

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 down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras fell $0.30 (-2.0%) to $14.48 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,871,203 shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,615,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $14.43-$14.75 after having opened the day at $14.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.78. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Sibanye Gold Ltd ADR ( SBGL), down 44.6%, GSE ( GSE), down 39.3%, Dominion Diamond ( DDC), down 18.5% and Axiall ( AXLL), down 16.8%.

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 $96.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 23.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, GMX Resources ( GMXRQ), up 37.5%, Avalon Rare Metals ( AVL), up 13.3%, MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), up 9.6% and Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), up 9.4% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP) 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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