Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): Today's Featured Energy 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.

Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) pushed the Energy industry lower today making it today's featured Energy laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Valero Energy Corporation fell $1.87 (-3.9%) to $46.37 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 15,906,254 shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,549,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $46.27-$47.74 after having opened the day at $47.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.24. Other companies within the Energy industry that declined today were: Bill Barrett Corporation ( BBG), down 16.9%, Hercules Offshore ( HERO), down 7.9%, Tidewater ( TDW), down 7.1% and Whiting USA Trust I ( WHX), down 6.2%.

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company. The company operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and Retail. Valero Energy Corporation has a market cap of $26.4 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Valero Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valero Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Clayton Williams Energy ( CWEI), up 12.2%, NuStar GP Holdings ( NSH), up 11.4%, Recon Technology ( RCON), up 6.0% and Zion Oil & Gas ( ZN), up 5.7% , were all gainers within the energy industry with Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ) being today's featured energy industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the energy industry could consider Energy Select Sector SPDR ( XLE) while those bearish on the energy industry could consider Proshares Short Oil & Gas ( DDG).

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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