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Are Basic Materials Stocks Lagging AngloGold Ashanti (AU) 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. AngloGold (AU - 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? Let's take a closer look at the stock's year-to-date performance to find out.

AngloGold is one of 236 individual stocks in the Basic Materials sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #13 in 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 emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. AngloGold is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AU's full-year earnings has moved 26.5% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

According to our latest data, AU has moved about 20.9% on a year-to-date basis. In comparison, Basic Materials companies have returned an average of -2.2%. This shows that AngloGold is outperforming its peers so far this year.

Franco-Nevada (FNV - 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 6.8%.

In Franco-Nevada's case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 1.5% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

To break things down more, AngloGold belongs to the Mining - Gold industry, a group that includes 37 individual companies and currently sits at #75 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has gained an average of 10.4% so far this year, so AU is performing better in this area. Franco-Nevada is also part of the same industry.

Investors with an interest in Basic Materials stocks should continue to track AngloGold and Franco-Nevada. These stocks will be looking to continue their solid performance.

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