Hess Corp (HES): 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.

Hess ( HES) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Hess rose $1.22 (1.6%) to $76.80 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,500,701 shares of Hess exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,469,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $75.75-$77.19 after having opened the day at $75.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $75.58. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Recon Technology ( RCON), up 38.2%, Houston American Energy Corporation ( HUSA), up 18.9%, AK Steel Holding Corporation ( AKS), up 18.7% and Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), up 17.2%.

Hess Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an independent energy company worldwide. It operates in two segments, Exploration and Production (E&P), and Marketing and Refining (M&R). Hess has a market cap of $25.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 8.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Hess a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hess as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Quaterra Resources ( QMM), down 11.5%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 9.4%, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), down 7.1% and North American Palladium ( PAL), down 6.8% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Seadrill ( SDRL) 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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