Apache Corporation (APA): Today's Featured Basic Materials 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.

Apache Corporation ( APA) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Apache Corporation fell $1.24 (-1.5%) to $83.09 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3,976,928 shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,639,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $82.24-$84.06 after having opened the day at $84.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $84.33. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: James River Coal Company ( JRCC), down 16.9%, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), down 15.9%, Jones Energy Inc Class A ( JONE), down 13.6% and MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), down 9.3%.

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 $33.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Apache Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Ur-Energy ( URG), up 16.8%, Uranium Resources ( URRE), up 13.7%, Avalon Rare Metals ( AVL), up 10.3% and Denison Mines Corporation ( DNN), up 9.4% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Phillips 66 ( PSX) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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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