National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV): 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.

National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, National Oilwell Varco rose $1.43 (1.9%) to $77.52 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,808,169 shares of National Oilwell Varco exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,084,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $76.19-$77.69 after having opened the day at $76.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.09. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 13.9%, Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), up 12.8%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), up 12.7% and DRDGold ( DRD), up 9.8%.

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. provides equipment and components for oil and gas drilling and production; oilfield services; and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. National Oilwell Varco has a market cap of $32.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 11.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate National Oilwell Varco a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Oilwell Varco as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Timberline Resources Corporation ( TLR), down 30.9%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 13.2%, Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), down 12.1% and KiOR ( KIOR), down 9.9% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Goldcorp ( GG) 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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