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 0.5%. By the end of trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation rose $0.98 (1.1%) to $90.95 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,732,827 shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,520,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $89.65-$91.28 after having opened the day at $90.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.97. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Mines Management ( MGN), up 19.4%, Rare Element Resources ( REE), up 13.0%, China Natural Resources ( CHNR), up 12.8% and Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), up 12.8%.

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 $73.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 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, Timmins Gold ( TGD), down 12.7%, Iamgold ( IAG), down 11.9%, Penn West Petroleum ( PWE), down 10.1% and Dejour Energy ( DEJ), down 9.7% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Williams Companies ( WMB) 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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