Gerdau SA (GGB): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

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.

Gerdau ( GGB) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.0%. By the end of trading, Gerdau fell $0.18 (-2.8%) to $6.23 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7,366,743 shares of Gerdau exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,150,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $6.20-$6.52 after having opened the day at $6.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.41. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 19.4%, Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), down 9.5%, Dejour Energy ( DEJ), down 9.5% and James River Coal Company ( JRCC), down 9.3%.

Gerdau S.A. engages in the production and commercialization of steel products worldwide. Gerdau has a market cap of $11.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 18.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Gerdau a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gerdau as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, growth in earnings per share 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, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, KiOR ( KIOR), up 46.4%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 30.4%, Balchem Corporation ( BCPC), up 22.8% and Amyris ( AMRS), up 19.0% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) 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.

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