Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC): 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.

Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) 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, Marathon Petroleum fell $1.71 (-2.0%) to $85.71 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,482,540 shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,842,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $85.51-$87.80 after having opened the day at $87.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $87.42. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Methes Energies International ( MEIL), down 13.9%, Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), down 12.9%, Banro Corporation ( BAA), down 11.4% and Dejour Energy ( DEJ), down 9.3%.

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 $25.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 38.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 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 positive front, Ivanhoe Energy ( IVAN), up 18.8%, AK Steel Holding Corporation ( AKS), up 15.5%, USEC ( USU), up 15.4% and Rocket Fuel ( FUEL), up 13.6% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with EOG Resources ( EOG) 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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