National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV): 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.

National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, National Oilwell Varco rose $1.36 (1.9%) to $75.01 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 9,546,531 shares of National Oilwell Varco exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,005,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $73.14-$75.66 after having opened the day at $74.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $73.65. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Solazyme ( SZYM), up 32.8%, Lilis Energy ( LLEX), up 29.8%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 20.0% and Mines Management ( MGN), up 12.3%.

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. provides equipment and components for oil and gas drilling and production; oilfield services; and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. National Oilwell Varco has a market cap of $31.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate National Oilwell Varco a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Oilwell Varco 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, good cash flow from operations 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 negative front, Zion Oil & Gas ( ZN), down 17.0%, Midstates Petroleum ( MPO), down 11.9%, North American Palladium ( PAL), down 11.1% and Newmont Mining Corporation ( NEM), down 10.4% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Chevron ( CVX) 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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