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The Basic Materials sector as a whole closed the day down 2.1% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.5%. Laggards within the Basic Materials sector included Sonde Resources ( SOQ), down 12.3%, Barnwell Industries ( BRN), down 6.0%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), down 2.0%, Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), down 6.0% and Minco Gold ( MGH), down 3.6%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the sector lower today:

Imperial Oil ( IMO) is one of the companies that pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today. Imperial Oil was down $0.80 (1.7%) to $46.24 on average volume. Throughout the day, 170,597 shares of Imperial Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 185,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $46.16-$46.96 after having opened the day at $46.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.04.

Imperial Oil Limited is engaged in the exploration for, production, and sale of crude oil and natural gas in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical. Imperial Oil has a market cap of $39.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 6.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Imperial Oil a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Imperial Oil as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on IMO go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 276.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $327.00 million to $1,232.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $999.00 million or 35.36% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.04%.
  • IMO's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.28 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.36 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Imperial Oil Ratings Report

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At the close, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL) was down $0.00 (2.0%) to $0.25 on light volume. Throughout the day, 33,867 shares of Atlatsa Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 45,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.21-$0.27 after having opened the day at $0.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.26.

Atlatsa Resources Corporation mines, explores for, and develops platinum group metals properties in South Africa. The company primarily explores for platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold, copper, and nickel. Atlatsa Resources has a market cap of $144.1 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 54.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Atlatsa Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Atlatsa Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, robust revenue growth and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ATL go as follows:

  • Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, ATLATSA RESOURCES CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.49, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.83 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • ATL's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 32.44%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
  • The gross profit margin for ATLATSA RESOURCES CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 4.14%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -11.90% is significantly below that of the industry average.

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

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Sonde Resources ( SOQ) was another company that pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today. Sonde Resources was down $0.02 (12.3%) to $0.11 on average volume. Throughout the day, 52,341 shares of Sonde Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 38,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.11-$0.14 after having opened the day at $0.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.13.

Sonde Resources has a market cap of $6.7 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 82.6% 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.