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Is Albemarle (ALB) Stock Outpacing Its Basic Materials Peers This Year?

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For those looking to find strong Basic Materials stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Albemarle (ALB) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Basic Materials sector should help us answer this question.

Albemarle is one of 247 individual stocks in the Basic Materials sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #5 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different sector groups. The average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups is measured, and the sectors are listed from best to worst.

The Zacks Rank is a successful stock-picking model that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions. The system highlights a number of different stocks that could be poised to outperform the broader market over the next one to three months. Albemarle is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Over the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for ALB's full-year earnings has moved 19.9% higher. This signals that analyst sentiment is improving and the stock's earnings outlook is more positive.

Based on the most recent data, ALB has returned 2.7% so far this year. Meanwhile, the Basic Materials sector has returned an average of 1.1% on a year-to-date basis. This means that Albemarle is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

One other Basic Materials stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is Livent (LTHM). The stock is up 1.4% year-to-date.

For Livent, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 39% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Looking more specifically, Albemarle belongs to the Chemical - Diversified industry, a group that includes 40 individual stocks and currently sits at #101 in the Zacks Industry Rank.


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