Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

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.

Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Barrick Gold Corporation fell 51 cents (-1.5%) to $34.09 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6.1 million shares of Barrick Gold Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $33.99-$34.45 after having opened the day at $34.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.60. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Ferro ( FOE), down 15.3%, Saratoga Resources ( SARA), down 9.2%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 8.4%, and Gold Reserve ( GRZ), down 8.1%.
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Barrick Gold Corporation engages in the production and sale of gold and copper. The company has a portfolio of 27 operating mines, and exploration and development projects located in North America, South America, the Australia Pacific region, and Africa. Barrick Gold Corporation has a market cap of $34.47 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Barrick Gold Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Barrick Gold Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and deteriorating net income.

On the positive front, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 16.3%, Tengasco ( TGC), up 15.4%, Pure Bioscience ( PURE), up 13.8%, and China Natural Resources ( CHNR), up 13.1%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Hess ( HES) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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 ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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