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Is Hawkins (HWKN) Outperforming Other Basic Materials Stocks This Year?

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Investors interested in Basic Materials stocks should always be looking to find the best-performing companies in the group. Hawkins (HWKN) 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? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Basic Materials peers, we might be able to answer that question.

Hawkins is one of 244 companies in the Basic Materials group. The Basic Materials group currently sits at #5 within 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 is a proven model that highlights a variety of stocks with the right characteristics to outperform the market over the next one to three months. The system emphasizes earnings estimate revisions and favors companies with improving earnings outlooks. Hawkins is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HWKN's full-year earnings has moved 11.4% higher within the past quarter. This signals that analyst sentiment is improving and the stock's earnings outlook is more positive.

Our latest available data shows that HWKN has returned about 1.5% since the start of the calendar year. At the same time, Basic Materials stocks have lost an average of 3.5%. This shows that Hawkins is outperforming its peers so far this year.

Mercer International (MERC) is another Basic Materials stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has returned 2.8%.

In Mercer International's case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 2.1% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Breaking things down more, Hawkins is a member of the Chemical - Specialty industry, which includes 36 individual companies and currently sits at #160 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has lost an average of 13.8% so far this year, meaning that HWKN is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.

On the other hand, Mercer International belongs to the Paper and Related Products industry. This 12-stock industry is currently ranked #77. The industry has moved -1.2% year to date.

Investors interested in the Basic Materials sector may want to keep a close eye on Hawkins and Mercer International as they attempt to continue their solid performance.


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