3 Basic Materials Stocks Pushing The Sector Higher

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.

Two 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 up 80 points (0.5%) at 17,464 as of Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,610 issues advancing vs. 1,406 declining with 158 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector as a whole closed the day up 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.5%. Top gainers within the Basic Materials sector included Entree Gold ( EGI), up 6.3%, PostRock Energy ( PSTR), up 28.6%, Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM), up 5.0%, Alderon Iron Ore ( AXX), up 2.6% and Silver Bull Resources ( SVBL), up 3.5%.

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

Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM) is one of the companies that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Quest Rare Minerals was up $0.01 (5.0%) to $0.15 on light volume. Throughout the day, 59,460 shares of Quest Rare Minerals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 107,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.13-$0.15 after having opened the day at $0.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.14.

Quest Rare Minerals has a market cap of $10.9 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 70.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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, PostRock Energy ( PSTR) was up $0.16 (28.6%) to $0.72 on average volume. Throughout the day, 35,928 shares of PostRock Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 24,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.57-$0.72 after having opened the day at $0.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.56.

PostRock Energy Corporation, an independent oil and gas company, is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and gathering of crude oil and natural gas. PostRock Energy has a market cap of $22.8 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 36.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate PostRock Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate 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 PostRock Energy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PSTR 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 187.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $6.88 million to -$5.99 million.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.62 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.43, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 51.66%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 276.92% 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.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, POSTROCK ENERGY CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • POSTROCK ENERGY CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, POSTROCK ENERGY CORP continued to lose money by earning -$0.93 versus -$3.99 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.60 versus -$0.93).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: PostRock Energy 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.

Entree Gold ( EGI) was another company that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Entree Gold was up $0.01 (6.3%) to $0.21 on average volume. Throughout the day, 66,059 shares of Entree Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 60,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.20-$0.23 after having opened the day at $0.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.20.

Entree Gold has a market cap of $31.6 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 23.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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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