Phillips 66 (PSX): 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.

Phillips 66 ( PSX) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.0%. By the end of trading, Phillips 66 rose $1.11 (1.5%) to $74.03 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,790,372 shares of Phillips 66 exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,497,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $73.05-$74.53 after having opened the day at $73.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.92. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: TransAtlantic Petroleum ( TAT), up 50.7%, Northern Dynasty Minerals ( NAK), up 19.9%, Kingold Jewelry ( KGJI), up 15.4% and Ivanhoe Energy ( IVAN), up 13.3%.

Phillips 66 operates as an independent downstream energy company. The company operates in three segments: Refining and Marketing (R&M), Midstream, and Chemicals. Phillips 66 has a market cap of $44.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 37.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Phillips 66 a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Phillips 66 as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins.

On the negative front, Avalon Rare Metals ( AVL), down 17.5%, Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM), down 10.6%, PostRock Energy ( PSTR), down 9.8% and Lake Shore Gold ( LSG), down 9.5% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.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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