Walter Energy



) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Walter Energy rose $0.33 (3.3%) to $10.40 on average volume. Throughout the day, 10,338,600 shares of Walter Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,302,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $10.01-$10.46 after having opened the day at $10.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.07. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were:

International Tower Hill Mines



), up 25.0%,

Alexco Resource



), up 23.0%,

Sandstorm Gold



), up 19.6% and

Fortuna Silver Mines



), up 18.2%.

Walter Energy, Inc. produces and exports metallurgical coal for the steel industry. It also produces thermal and industrial coal, anthracite, metallurgical coke, coal bed methane gas, and other related products. Walter Energy has a market cap of $628.2 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 71.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Walter Energy a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Walter Energy as a


. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front,

GMX Resources



), down 92.2%,

Synthesis Energy Sys



), down 19.9%,

Golden Star Resources



), down 16.0% and

Mines Management



), down 14.5% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with

Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras



) 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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