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Is Nutrien (NTR) Outperforming Other Basic Materials Stocks 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. Nutrien (NTR - Free Report) 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.

Nutrien is a member of our Basic Materials group, which includes 243 different companies and currently sits at #3 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors.

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

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for NTR's full-year earnings has moved 31.7% higher within the past quarter. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

According to our latest data, NTR has moved about 6% on a year-to-date basis. At the same time, Basic Materials stocks have lost an average of 11.8%. This means that Nutrien is outperforming the sector as a whole this year.

Another stock in the Basic Materials sector, Olympic Steel (ZEUS - Free Report) , has outperformed the sector so far this year. The stock's year-to-date return is 9.6%.

In Olympic Steel's case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 110.3% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

To break things down more, Nutrien belongs to the Fertilizers industry, a group that includes 7 individual companies and currently sits at #17 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has gained an average of 15.6% so far this year, so NTR is slightly underperforming its industry in this area.

In contrast, Olympic Steel falls under the Steel - Producers industry. Currently, this industry has 24 stocks and is ranked #95. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved -9.4%.

Going forward, investors interested in Basic Materials stocks should continue to pay close attention to Nutrien and Olympic Steel as they could maintain their solid performance.

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