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

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 $0.93 (-6.3%) to $13.76 on average volume. Throughout the day, 29,317,225 shares of Barrick Gold Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 22,303,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $13.43-$14.30 after having opened the day at $14.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.69. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Sibanye Gold Ltd ADR ( SBGL), down 50.9%, USEC ( USU), down 39.5%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 28.7% and Axiall ( AXLL), down 24.6%.

Barrick Gold Corporation engages in the production and sale of gold and copper. It is also involved in exploration and mine development activities. Barrick Gold Corporation has a market cap of $14.5 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 58.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Barrick Gold Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 15 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 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Kimber Resources ( KBX), up 16.6%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 14.9%, Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), up 13.5% and Harvest Natural Resources ( HNR), up 12.7% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.