Vale SA (VALE): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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.

Vale ( VALE) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.6%. By the end of trading, Vale rose $0.60 (4.2%) to $15.02 on average volume. Throughout the day, 19,329,256 shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 18,827,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $14.73-$15.04 after having opened the day at $14.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.42. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), up 16.1%, Entree Gold ( EGI), up 15.2%, MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), up 9.9% and Forbes Energy Services ( FES), up 9.0%.

Vale S.A. engages in the research, production, and marketing of iron ore and pellets, nickel, fertilizers, copper, coal, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, platinum group metals, and precious metals in Brazil and internationally. Vale has a market cap of $77.7 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 29.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Vale a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the negative front, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 21.4%, Quaterra Resources ( QMM), down 10.1%, Tasman Metals ( TAS), down 8.0% and Gold Fields ( GFI), down 7.2% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

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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