Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC): 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.

Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) 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, Marathon Petroleum rose $2.79 (3.4%) to $84.34 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 5,954,509 shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,494,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $81.55-$85.65 after having opened the day at $81.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $81.55. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Augusta Resource Corporation ( AZC), up 63.1%, Genie Energy Ltd Class B ( GNE), up 19.9%, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 13.6% and Gevo ( GEVO), up 10.4%.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Pipeline Transportation segments. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $24.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Sonde Resources ( SOQ), down 9.4%, Polymet Mining ( PLM), down 7.3%, Recon Technology ( RCON), down 7.1% and Silver Bull Resources ( SVBL), down 6.9% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Anadarko Petroleum ( APC) 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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