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.

One out of the three major indices traded up today The three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 24.50 points (-0.2%) at 16,117 as of Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,202 issues advancing vs. 904 declining with 116 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector as a whole closed the day up 3.1% versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Top gainers within the Basic Materials sector included Sonde Resources ( SOQ), up 8.5%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), up 4.0%, Entree Gold ( EGI), up 6.2%, PostRock Energy ( PSTR), up 5.8% and Mines Management ( MGN), up 6.9%.

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

Entree Gold ( EGI) is one of the companies that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Entree Gold was up $0.01 (6.2%) to $0.25 on light volume. Throughout the day, 9,130 shares of Entree Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 60,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.24-$0.25 after having opened the day at $0.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.23.

Entree Gold has a market cap of $35.3 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 14.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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At the close, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL) was up $0.01 (4.0%) to $0.26 on light volume. Throughout the day, 500 shares of Atlatsa Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 39,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.25-$0.29 after having opened the day at $0.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.25.

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 Wednesday. 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.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.83 is weak.
  • 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 34.15%, 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

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 (8.5%) to $0.09 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 138,125 shares of Sonde Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 38,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.08-$0.14 after having opened the day at $0.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.08.

Sonde Resources has a market cap of $5.8 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 84.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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.