Ensco PLC Class A (ESV): 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.

Ensco PLC Class A ( ESV) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.0%. By the end of trading, Ensco PLC Class A fell $0.64 (-1.0%) to $61.06 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,086,592 shares of Ensco PLC Class A exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,123,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $60.21-$61.88 after having opened the day at $61.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.70. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM), down 9.6%, Oxford Resource Partners ( OXF), down 9.6%, Richmont Mines ( RIC), down 8.9% and Rocket Fuel ( FUEL), down 7.8%.

Ensco plc provides offshore contract drilling services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Floaters, Jackups, and Other. Ensco PLC Class A has a market cap of $14.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Ensco PLC Class A a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ensco PLC Class A 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, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, Augusta Resource Corporation ( AZC), up 90.5%, Global Eagle Entertainment ( ENT), up 15.0%, Silver Bull Resources ( SVBL), up 9.1% and Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited ADR rep ( YZC), up 9.1% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) 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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