Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): 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.

Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Valero Energy Corporation fell $0.81 (-2.2%) to $35.93 on light volume. Throughout the day, 5,419,524 shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,660,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $35.92-$36.64 after having opened the day at $36.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.74. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: BioAmber ( BIOA), down 14.5%, Zion Oil & Gas ( ZN), down 13.2%, Alon USA Partners ( ALDW), down 11.7% and Recon Technology ( RCON), down 11.5%.

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company. The company operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and Retail. Valero Energy Corporation has a market cap of $20.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 7.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Valero Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valero Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, 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, WSP Holdings ( WH), up 34.6%, Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), up 21.5%, Golden Star Resources ( GSS), up 19.5% and Vista Gold Corporation ( VGZ), up 17.4% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) 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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