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Are Basic Materials Stocks Lagging U.S. Silica Holdings (SLCA) 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. Silica Holdings (SLCA - 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.

Silica Holdings is one of 242 companies in the Basic Materials group. The Basic Materials group currently sits at #16 within 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. Silica Holdings is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for SLCA's full-year earnings has moved 4.8% higher. This signals that analyst sentiment is improving and the stock's earnings outlook is more positive.

Based on the most recent data, SLCA has returned 32.3% so far this year. Meanwhile, stocks in the Basic Materials group have lost about 3.9% on average. This means that Silica Holdings is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

Olympic Steel (ZEUS - Free Report) is another Basic Materials stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has returned 51.5%.

For Olympic Steel, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 4.5% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Breaking things down more, Silica Holdings is a member of the Mining - Miscellaneous industry, which includes 50 individual companies and currently sits at #174 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has lost an average of 3.7% so far this year, so SLCA is performing better in this area.

In contrast, Olympic Steel falls under the Steel - Producers industry. Currently, this industry has 24 stocks and is ranked #207. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved +3%.

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

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U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc. (SLCA) - free report >>

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