Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ): 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.

Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.9%. By the end of trading, Canadian Natural Resources fell $0.54 (-1.8%) to $29.28 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,670,942 shares of Canadian Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,354,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $29.08-$29.72 after having opened the day at $29.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.82. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Lone Pine Resources ( LPR), down 14.2%, Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), down 12.1%, Samson Oil & Gas ( SSN), down 12.1% and Golden Star Resources ( GSS), down 10.0%.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited engages in the exploration, development, production and marketing of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas. Canadian Natural Resources has a market cap of $32.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Canadian Natural Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Canadian Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, GeoPetro Resources Company ( GPR), up 75.0%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), up 20.0%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 16.0% and Platinum Group Metal ( PLG), up 9.4% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Tesoro Corporation ( TSO) 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).

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