Apache Corporation (APA): 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.

Apache Corporation ( APA) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Apache Corporation rose $1.46 (1.7%) to $85.90 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,163,668 shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,437,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $83.75-$85.95 after having opened the day at $84.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $84.44. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Quaterra Resources ( QMM), up 13.3%, Rocket Fuel ( FUEL), up 13.2%, Sandstorm Gold ( SAND), up 10.6% and Lucas Energy ( LEI), up 10.3%.

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. Apache Corporation has a market cap of $34.2 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 down 1.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Apache Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, L & L Energy ( LLEN), down 25.0%, MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), down 16.1%, Tasman Metals ( TAS), down 9.9% and Amyris ( AMRS), down 7.6% , 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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