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


Gold Fields



) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Gold Fields rose 12 cents (1%) to $12.18 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3.4 million shares of Gold Fields exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $11.88-$12.23 after having opened the day at $12.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.05. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were:

Emerald Oil



), up 312.1%,




), up 35.5%,

Samson Oil & Gas



), up 18.2%, and

China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources



), up 17.2%.

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Gold Fields Limited engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of gold properties. It holds interests in eight operating mines in South Africa, Peru, Ghana, and Australia. Gold Fields has a market cap of $8.66 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 22.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Gold Fields a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gold Fields as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front,

McMoRan Exploration



), down 22.5%,

GeoGlobal Resources



), down 18.2%,




), down 14.9%, and

Oxford Resource Partners



), down 10.7%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with

Chesapeake Energy



) 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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