Alcoa Inc (AA): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Alcoa ( AA) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Alcoa rose $0.43 (3.7%) to $12.05 on average volume. Throughout the day, 32,763,520 shares of Alcoa exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 27,432,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $11.54-$12.16 after having opened the day at $11.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $11.62. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Amyris ( AMRS), up 26.4%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 12.6%, Walter Energy ( WLT), up 9.9% and Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile ( SQM), up 7.9%.

Alcoa Inc. produces and manages primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Global Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions. Alcoa has a market cap of $12.7 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Alcoa a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alcoa as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the negative front, Forest Oil ( FST), down 37.8%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 10.7%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), down 10.2% and QEP Resources ( QEP), down 10.0% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) 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 ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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