BP PLC (BP): 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.

BP ( BP) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, BP fell $0.80 (-1.7%) to $46.52 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 15,213,109 shares of BP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,288,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $46.29-$46.68 after having opened the day at $46.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.32. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Walter Energy ( WLT), down 20.0%, USEC ( USU), down 12.7%, Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), down 8.1% and Silver Bull Resources ( SVBL), down 7.8%.

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products worldwide. BP has a market cap of $161.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 2.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate BP a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year, 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 positive front, Dejour Energy ( DEJ), up 22.3%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), up 21.0%, MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), up 20.0% and North American Palladium ( PAL), up 12.4% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Halliburton Company ( HAL) 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).

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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