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Are Basic Materials Stocks Lagging CF Industries (CF) 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. Is CF Industries (CF - Free Report) one of those stocks right now? Let's take a closer look at the stock's year-to-date performance to find out.

CF Industries is one of 241 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 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 proven system that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions, highlighting a variety of stocks that are displaying the right characteristics to beat the market over the next one to three months. CF Industries is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CF's full-year earnings has moved 19.9% higher within the past quarter. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

Based on the most recent data, CF has returned 17.7% so far this year. Meanwhile, stocks in the Basic Materials group have lost about 8.8% on average. As we can see, CF Industries is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.

Another stock in the Basic Materials sector, Commercial Metals (CMC - Free Report) , has outperformed the sector so far this year. The stock's year-to-date return is 1%.

For Commercial Metals, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 14.9% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

To break things down more, CF Industries belongs to the Fertilizers industry, a group that includes 7 individual companies and currently sits at #20 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have gained 16.8% this year, meaning that CF is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.

In contrast, Commercial Metals falls under the Steel - Producers industry. Currently, this industry has 24 stocks and is ranked #74. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved -3.4%.

Investors interested in the Basic Materials sector may want to keep a close eye on CF Industries and Commercial Metals as they attempt to continue their solid performance.

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