ConocoPhillips (COP): 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.

ConocoPhillips ( COP) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, ConocoPhillips rose $0.83 (1.2%) to $68.39 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,931,732 shares of ConocoPhillips exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,146,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $67.68-$68.47 after having opened the day at $67.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.56. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Golden Star Resources ( GSS), up 11.5%, Vista Gold Corporation ( VGZ), up 9.6%, Houston American Energy Corporation ( HUSA), up 9.5% and Double Eagle Petroleum Company ( DBLE), up 8.8%.

ConocoPhillips explores for, develops, and produces crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids worldwide. ConocoPhillips has a market cap of $82.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate ConocoPhillips a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ConocoPhillips as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), down 28.4%, KiOR ( KIOR), down 11.8%, North American Palladium ( PAL), down 11.2% and Gold Standard Ventures ( GSV), down 10.1% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Southwestern Energy Company ( SWN) 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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