SM Energy Co (SM): 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.

SM Energy ( SM) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, SM Energy fell $0.88 (-1.1%) to $81.98 on light volume. Throughout the day, 385,204 shares of SM Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,021,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $81.90-$83.17 after having opened the day at $82.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $82.86. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Northern Dynasty Minerals ( NAK), down 9.8%, Dejour Energy ( DEJ), down 7.8%, MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), down 6.4% and Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), down 6.3%.

SM Energy Company, an independent energy company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, exploitation, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids in North America. SM Energy has a market cap of $5.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 58.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate SM Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates SM Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, USEC ( USU), up 27.1%, General Moly ( GMO), up 27.0%, HyperDynamics Corporation ( HDY), up 20.6% and Rubicon Minerals ( RBY), up 19.2% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Chevron ( CVX) 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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