3 Stocks Boosting The Basic Materials 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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 84.48 points (-0.5%) at 18,204 as of Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,114 issues advancing vs. 1,916 declining with 150 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector as a whole was unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.5%. Top gainers within the Basic Materials sector included Minco Gold ( MGH), up 7.7%, Timberline Resources ( TLR), up 7.4%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), up 2.2%, Revett Mining ( RVM), up 2.2% and Gold Standard Ventures ( GSV), up 1.9%.

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

Revett Mining ( RVM) is one of the companies that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Revett Mining was up $0.01 (2.2%) to $0.41 on light volume. Throughout the day, 29,858 shares of Revett Mining exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 75,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.39-$0.41 after having opened the day at $0.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.40.

Revett Mining has a market cap of $15.3 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 45.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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At the close, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL) was up $0.00 (2.2%) to $0.18 on light volume. Throughout the day, 7,850 shares of Atlatsa Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 90,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.17-$0.18 after having opened the day at $0.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.18.

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 $94.2 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 7.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Atlatsa Resources a buy, 2 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 compelling growth in net income. 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 2.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 29.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • ATLATSA RESOURCES CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. During the past fiscal year, ATLATSA RESOURCES CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.47 versus -$0.04 in the prior year.
  • 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 59.10%, 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 rather low; currently it is at 19.10%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ATL's net profit margin of -0.73% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

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

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Timberline Resources ( TLR) was another company that pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today. Timberline Resources was up $0.04 (7.4%) to $0.65 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,316 shares of Timberline Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 26,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.59-$0.65 after having opened the day at $0.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.60.

Timberline Resources has a market cap of $6.6 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 3.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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.

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