Apache Corporation (APA): 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.

Apache Corporation ( APA) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Apache Corporation fell $1.10 (-1.2%) to $87.88 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,474,686 shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,428,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $87.68-$89.51 after having opened the day at $88.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $88.98. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: 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%.

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. Apache Corporation has a market cap of $35.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Apache Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the positive front, 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% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Noble Energy ( NBL) 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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