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Are Basic Materials Stocks Lagging Albemarle (ALB) This Year?

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The Basic Materials group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Has Albemarle (ALB) been one of those stocks this year? 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 241 individual stocks in the Basic Materials sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #3 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different groups, measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the sector to gauge the strength of each group.

The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. Albemarle is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for ALB's full-year earnings has moved 124.1% higher. This means that analyst sentiment is stronger and the stock's earnings outlook is improving.

Based on the latest available data, ALB has gained about 3.4% so far this year. In comparison, Basic Materials companies have returned an average of 2.5%. As we can see, Albemarle is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.

One other Basic Materials stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is Commercial Metals (CMC). The stock is up 8.2% year-to-date.

In Commercial Metals' case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 44.1% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Looking more specifically, Albemarle belongs to the Chemical - Diversified industry, a group that includes 38 individual stocks and currently sits at #49 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has lost an average of 2.6% so far this year, so ALB is performing better in this area.

On the other hand, Commercial Metals belongs to the Steel - Producers industry. This 24-stock industry is currently ranked #27. The industry has moved +12.1% year to date.

Albemarle and Commercial Metals could continue their solid performance, so investors interested in Basic Materials stocks should continue to pay close attention to these stocks.


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