Halliburton Company (HAL): 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.

Halliburton Company ( HAL) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Halliburton Company fell $0.70 (-1.4%) to $49.50 on average volume. Throughout the day, 9,053,900 shares of Halliburton Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,803,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $49.11-$50.18 after having opened the day at $50.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.20. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: North American Palladium ( PAL), down 16.3%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 10.3%, Genie Energy Ltd Class B ( GNE), down 8.9% and Universal Stainless & Alloy Products ( USAP), down 8.0%.

Halliburton Company provides a range of services and products for the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas to oil and gas companies worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Completion and Production, and Drilling and Evaluation. Halliburton Company has a market cap of $42.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate Halliburton Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Halliburton Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), up 50.8%, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 28.6%, HyperDynamics Corporation ( HDY), up 11.6% and Golden Minerals ( AUMN), up 10.7% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Agrium ( AGU) 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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