Phillips 66 (PSX): 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.

Phillips 66 ( PSX) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Phillips 66 fell $0.68 (-1.2%) to $56.79 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,403,943 shares of Phillips 66 exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,814,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $56.68-$57.44 after having opened the day at $57.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.47. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: USEC ( USU), down 15.6%, Timberline Resources Corporation ( TLR), down 12.3%, Sonde Resources ( SOQ), down 9.6% and Quaterra Resources ( QMM), down 9.0%.

Phillips 66 operates as an independent downstream energy company. The company operates in three segments: Refining and Marketing (R&M), Midstream, and Chemicals. Phillips 66 has a market cap of $35.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Phillips 66 a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Phillips 66 as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and unimpressive growth in net income.

On the positive front, KiOR ( KIOR), up 24.7%, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 23.7%, Ceres ( CERE), up 17.4% and Triangle Petroleum ( TPLM), up 17.1% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Mosaic ( MOS) 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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