3 Basic Materials Stocks Pushing Sector Growth

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 are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 1 points (0.0%) at 17,689 as of Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,199 issues advancing vs. 1,792 declining with 180 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector as a whole closed the day down 1.1% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.3%. Top gainers within the Basic Materials sector included Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), up 1.6%, New Concept Energy ( GBR), up 9.9%, Lucas Energy ( LEI), up 7.8%, United States Antimony ( UAMY), up 3.1% and Methes Energies International ( MEIL), up 3.9%.

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

United States Antimony ( UAMY) is one of the companies that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. United States Antimony was up $0.03 (3.1%) to $1.01 on average volume. Throughout the day, 48,021 shares of United States Antimony exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 49,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.91-$1.01 after having opened the day at $0.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.98.

United States Antimony Corporation produces and sells antimony, silver, gold, and zeolite products in the United States. United States Antimony has a market cap of $69.3 million and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 50.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate United States Antimony 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 United States Antimony as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins, feeble growth in its earnings per share, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on UAMY go as follows:

  • The gross profit margin for U S ANTIMONY CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 1.89%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -18.67% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • U S ANTIMONY CORP reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, U S ANTIMONY CORP reported poor results of -$0.03 versus -$0.01 in the prior year.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $0.13 million or 44.49% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow U S ANTIMONY CORP is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -55.48%.
  • UAMY'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 27.93%, which is also worse than the performance of the S&P 500 Index. 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.
  • UAMY, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 23.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to not be hurting the bottom line, shown by stable earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: United States Antimony 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, Lucas Energy ( LEI) was up $0.02 (7.8%) to $0.28 on light volume. Throughout the day, 101,132 shares of Lucas Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 138,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.28-$0.32 after having opened the day at $0.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.26.

Lucas Energy, Inc. operates as an independent oil and gas company in Texas. Lucas Energy has a market cap of $9.1 million and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 73.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Lucas 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 Lucas Energy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LEI 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 32.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.95 million to -$1.25 million.
  • LEI'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 73.64%, which is also worse than the performance of the S&P 500 Index. 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 return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, LUCAS ENERGY INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 44.06% is the gross profit margin for LUCAS ENERGY INC which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LEI's net profit margin of -133.12% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 36.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to not be hurting the bottom line, shown by stable earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Lucas 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.

Atlatsa Resources ( ATL) was another company that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Atlatsa Resources was up $0.00 (1.6%) to $0.19 on average volume. Throughout the day, 32,670 shares of Atlatsa Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 35,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.18-$0.19 after having opened the day at $0.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.19.

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 $109.7 million and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 65.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Atlatsa Resources a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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 2.6%. 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 53.49%, 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.

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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