Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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Pioneer Natural Resources Company ( PXD) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Pioneer Natural Resources Company rose $2.65 (1.5%) to $179.08 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,022,626 shares of Pioneer Natural Resources Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,843,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $176.75-$180.13 after having opened the day at $177.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $176.43. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Zion Oil & Gas ( ZN), up 36.7%, World Point Terminals ( WPT), up 8.9%, Ivanhoe Energy ( IVAN), up 8.6% and Abraxas Petroleum Corporation ( AXAS), up 7.8%.

Pioneer Natural Resources Company operates as an independent oil and gas exploration and production company in the United States. The company produces and sells oil, natural gas liquids (NGL), and gas. Pioneer Natural Resources Company has a market cap of $24.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 67.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Pioneer Natural Resources Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pioneer Natural Resources Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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 negative front, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 19.0%, Iamgold ( IAG), down 10.9%, Golden Minerals ( AUMN), down 10.0% and Noranda Aluminum ( NOR), down 9.3% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR Class A ( RDS.A) 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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