3 Basic Materials Stocks Moving The Sector Upward

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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 134.49 points (-0.8%) at 16,435 as of Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 814 issues advancing vs. 2,221 declining with 117 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector as a whole closed the day down 1.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.9%. Top gainers within the Basic Materials sector included Sonde Resources ( SOQ), up 3.2%, Entree Gold ( EGI), up 1.6%, Minco Gold ( MGH), up 5.2%, Oxford Resource Partners ( OXF), up 6.9% and Metabolix ( MBLX), up 14.1%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

Oxford Resource Partners ( OXF) is one of the companies that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Oxford Resource Partners was up $0.06 (6.9%) to $0.96 on light volume. Throughout the day, 25,495 shares of Oxford Resource Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 37,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.94-$0.99 after having opened the day at $0.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.90.

Oxford Resource Partners, LP produces and markets thermal coal in the United States. The company markets its thermal coal to utilities, industrial customers, municipalities, and other coal-related entities. Oxford Resource Partners has a market cap of $9.7 million and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 26.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Oxford Resource Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Oxford Resource Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on OXF go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 55.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$6.55 million to -$10.19 million.
  • The gross profit margin for OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP is rather low; currently it is at 15.95%. Regardless of OXF's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, OXF's net profit margin of -13.05% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 64.92%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 32.25% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 32.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP continued to lose money by earning -$1.07 versus -$1.27 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 14.0% in earnings (-$1.22 versus -$1.07).
  • OXF, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.9%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Oxford Resource Partners Ratings Report

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

At the close, Entree Gold ( EGI) was up $0.00 (1.6%) to $0.28 on average volume. Throughout the day, 51,503 shares of Entree Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 61,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.27-$0.28 after having opened the day at $0.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.28.

Entree Gold has a market cap of $41.4 million and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 0.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on EGI go as follows:

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Entree Gold Ratings Report

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

Sonde Resources ( SOQ) was another company that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Sonde Resources was up $0.01 (3.2%) to $0.32 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,735 shares of Sonde Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 35,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.30-$0.32 after having opened the day at $0.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.31.

Sonde Resources has a market cap of $17.4 million and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 55.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SOQ go as follows:

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Sonde Resources Ratings Report

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

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.

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