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.

One out of the three major indices traded up today The three major indices are trading lower today with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) trading down 25.91 points (-0.1%) at 17,627 as of Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, 1:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,592 issues advancing vs. 1,405 declining with 178 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector as a whole closed the day up 1.8% versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Top gainers within the Basic Materials sector included

Atlatsa Resources

(

ATL

), up 2.5%,

Pacific Booker Minerals

(

PBM

), up 2.7%,

Timberline Resources

(

TLR

), up 13.2%,

PostRock Energy

(

PSTR

), up 4.3% and

China Gerui Advanced Materials Group

(

CHOP

), up 4.1%.

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

PostRock Energy

(

PSTR

) is one of the companies that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. PostRock Energy was up $0.03 (4.3%) to $0.73 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4,481 shares of PostRock Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 26,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.70-$0.73 after having opened the day at $0.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.70.

PostRock Energy Corporation, an independent oil and gas company, is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and gathering of crude oil and natural gas. PostRock Energy has a market cap of $44.4 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 39.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate PostRock Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate 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 PostRock Energy as a

sell

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

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PSTR go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.27 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, PSTR has a quick ratio of 0.56, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $5.71 million or 25.62% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • PSTR'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 51.36%, 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.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, POSTROCK ENERGY CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 49.25% is the gross profit margin for POSTROCK ENERGY CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 28.15% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

PostRock Energy 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.

At the close,

Timberline Resources

(

TLR

) was up $0.08 (13.2%) to $0.69 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 40,927 shares of Timberline Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 26,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.58-$0.77 after having opened the day at $0.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.61.

Timberline Resources has a market cap of $3.7 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 71.0% 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.

Atlatsa Resources

(

ATL

) was another company that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Atlatsa Resources was up $0.00 (2.5%) to $0.20 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 62,450 shares of Atlatsa Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 32,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.18-$0.20 after having opened the day at $0.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.20.

Atlatsa Resources Corporation mines, explores for, and develops platinum group metals properties in South Africa. The company primarily explores for platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold, copper, and nickel. Atlatsa Resources has a market cap of $102.5 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 67.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Atlatsa Resources a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Atlatsa Resources as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, robust revenue growth and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ATL go as follows:

  • Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, ATLATSA RESOURCES CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.83 is weak.
  • ATL'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 48.72%, 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.
  • The gross profit margin for ATLATSA RESOURCES CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 4.14%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -11.90% is significantly below that of the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Atlatsa Resources 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.

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.