Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): 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.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation rose $1.69 (1.8%) to $95.49 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,404,632 shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,450,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $94.09-$95.69 after having opened the day at $94.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $93.80. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), up 42.6%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), up 25.8%, Dejour Energy ( DEJ), up 21.6% and Uranium Resources ( URRE), up 10.7%.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $75.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental Petroleum Corporation as a buy. 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, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Great Northern Iron Ore ( GNI), down 24.9%, USEC ( USU), down 9.6%, Entree Gold ( EGI), down 7.7% and Gulfport Energy Corporation ( GPOR), down 6.5% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Monsanto Company ( MON) 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).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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