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Is Clearwater Paper (CLW) Stock Outpacing Its Basic Materials Peers This Year?

For those looking to find strong Basic Materials stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Is Clearwater Paper (CLW) one of those stocks right now? 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.

Clearwater Paper is one of 238 companies in the Basic Materials group. The Basic Materials group currently sits at #9 within the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank gauges the strength of our 16 individual sector groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups.

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. Clearwater Paper is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for CLW's full-year earnings has moved 13.9% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

Our latest available data shows that CLW has returned about 3.6% since the start of the calendar year. Meanwhile, the Basic Materials sector has returned an average of -15.7% on a year-to-date basis. This means that Clearwater Paper is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

Ryerson Holding (RYI) is another Basic Materials stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has returned 3.4%.

Over the past three months, Ryerson Holding's consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 6.1%. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Looking more specifically, Clearwater Paper belongs to the Paper and Related Products industry, which includes 13 individual stocks and currently sits at #39 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has lost an average of 26.4% so far this year, so CLW is performing better in this area.

On the other hand, Ryerson Holding belongs to the Steel - Producers industry. This 24-stock industry is currently ranked #181. The industry has moved -21.7% year to date.

Clearwater Paper and Ryerson Holding 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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