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Gerdau SA (GGB): Today's Featured Basic Materials Loser

Gerdau ( GGB) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials loser. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Gerdau fell 14 cents (-1.6%) to $8.37 on average volume. Throughout the day, six million shares of Gerdau exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $8.23-$8.52 after having opened the day at $8.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $8.51. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), down 14.7%, Cubic Energy ( QBC), down 10.5%, Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR), down 10.3%, and GeoGlobal Resources ( GGR), down 9%.

Gerdau S.A. engages in the production and sale of steel products in Brazil and internationally. Gerdau has a market cap of $14.2 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.9, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 12.7 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Gerdau a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gerdau as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), up 17.7%, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 12.1%, International Tower Hill Mines ( THM), up 9.4%, and Lizhan Environmental ( LZEN), up 8.3%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) being today's featured basic materials sector winner.

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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