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Are Basic Materials Stocks Lagging Gold Fields Limited (GFI) 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. Has Gold Fields (GFI - Free Report) been one of those stocks this year? Let's take a closer look at the stock's year-to-date performance to find out.

Gold Fields is one of 236 individual stocks in the Basic Materials sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #14 in 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 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. Gold Fields is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for GFI's full-year earnings has moved 23.7% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.

According to our latest data, GFI has moved about 51.1% on a year-to-date basis. Meanwhile, stocks in the Basic Materials group have gained about 1.6% on average. This means that Gold Fields is outperforming the sector as a whole this year.

Another Basic Materials stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Linde (LIN - Free Report) . The stock has returned 10.3% year-to-date.

For Linde, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 3.8% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Breaking things down more, Gold Fields is a member of the Mining - Gold industry, which includes 37 individual companies and currently sits at #100 in the Zacks Industry Rank. Stocks in this group have gained about 13.3% so far this year, so GFI is performing better this group in terms of year-to-date returns.

Linde, however, belongs to the Chemical - Specialty industry. Currently, this 34-stock industry is ranked #182. The industry has moved +5.6% so far this year.

Gold Fields and Linde could continue their solid performance, so investors interested in Basic Materials stocks should continue to pay close attention to these stocks.

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