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.

All three major indices traded up today with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) trading up 263 points (1.6%) at 16,380 as of Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,043 issues advancing vs. 1,068 declining with 100 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector as a whole closed the day down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which was up 1.3%. Top gainers within the Basic Materials sector included

Sonde Resources

(

SOQ

), up 15.2%,

Pacific Booker Minerals

(

PBM

), up 2.5%,

New Concept Energy

(

GBR

), up 38.5%,

Oxford Resource Partners

(

OXF

), up 54.0% and

Alderon Iron Ore

(

AXX

), up 19.8%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

Alderon Iron Ore

(

AXX

) is one of the companies that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Alderon Iron Ore was up $0.09 (19.8%) to $0.53 on average volume. Throughout the day, 61,240 shares of Alderon Iron Ore exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 55,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.46-$0.55 after having opened the day at $0.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.44.

Alderon Iron Ore has a market cap of $61.0 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 70.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close,

Oxford Resource Partners

(

OXF

) was up $0.34 (54.0%) to $0.97 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 996,849 shares of Oxford Resource Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 34,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.85-$1.39 after having opened the day at $1.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.63.

Oxford Resource Partners, LP produces and markets thermal coal in the United States. The company markets its thermal coal to utilities, industrial customers, municipalities, and other coal-related entities. Oxford Resource Partners has a market cap of $7.2 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 48.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Oxford Resource Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Oxford Resource Partners as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on OXF go as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $4.78 million or 8.44% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has marginally lower results.
  • The gross profit margin for OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP is rather low; currently it is at 18.17%. Regardless of OXF's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, OXF's net profit margin of -3.53% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • OXF's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 60.87%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has improved earnings per share by 47.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP continued to lose money by earning -$1.07 versus -$1.27 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.0% in earnings (-$1.15 versus -$1.07).
  • OXF, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Oxford Resource Partners Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Sonde Resources

(

SOQ

) was another company that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Sonde Resources was up $0.01 (15.2%) to $0.10 on average volume. Throughout the day, 36,024 shares of Sonde Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 39,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.09-$0.12 after having opened the day at $0.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.09.

Sonde Resources has a market cap of $4.5 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 88.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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.