Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation rose $1.16 (1.3%) to $90.82 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,367,522 shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,507,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $89.54-$90.82 after having opened the day at $89.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.66. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Harvest Natural Resources ( HNR), up 26.5%, Midstates Petroleum ( MPO), up 14.4%, Linn Energy ( LINE), up 12.8% and LinnCo ( LNCO), up 12.0%.

Oxy's U.S. operations are organized in several regions. The largest of these is in the Permian Basin of southwest Texas and southeast New Mexico, where Oxy is the No. 1 oil producer. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $72.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 17.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental Petroleum Corporation as a buy. 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), down 18.0%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 14.5%, L & L Energy ( LLEN), down 14.1% and China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 10.8% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Enbridge ( ENB) 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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