Noble Energy Inc (NBL): 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.

Noble Energy ( NBL) 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, Noble Energy rose $0.89 (1.3%) to $69.48 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,425,661 shares of Noble Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,902,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $68.31-$69.76 after having opened the day at $68.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.59. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: North American Palladium ( PAL), up 23.7%, Tanzanian Royalty Exploration Corporation ( TRX), up 16.6%, Lake Shore Gold ( LSG), up 16.0% and International Tower Hill Mines ( THM), up 13.3%.

Noble Energy, Inc., an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and marketing of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids primarily in the United States, West Africa, and Eastern Mediterranean. Noble Energy has a market cap of $25.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 34.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Noble Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Noble Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Syntroleum Corporation ( SYNM), down 13.5%, Global Geophysical Services ( GGS), down 9.6%, Triangle Petroleum ( TPLM), down 8.5% and NovaCopper ( NCQ), down 7.1% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Apache Corporation ( APA) 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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