Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model





) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1%. By the end of trading, Gerdau rose 11 cents (1.1%) to $10.07 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6.1 million shares of Gerdau exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $9.86-$10.11 after having opened the day at $9.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.96. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were:

BMB Munai



), up 23.6%,

Longwei Petroleum Investment Holding Limite



), up 21.5%,

Pure Bioscience



), up 17.2%, and

Clean Diesel Technologies



), up 13.7%.

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Gerdau S.A. engages in the production and sale of steel products in Brazil and internationally. Gerdau has a market cap of $16.99 billion and is part of the

metals & mining

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.2, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 15.8 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 27.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Gerdau a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gerdau as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front,

BioFuel Energy Corporation


TheStreet Recommends


), down 16.7%,




), down 16.2%,




), down 12.6%, and

GeoPetro Resources Company



), down 11.1%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with




) 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



) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider

ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd




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