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Is Gerdau (GGB) Outperforming Other Basic Materials Stocks 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. Has Gerdau (GGB - Free Report) been one of those stocks this year? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Basic Materials peers, we might be able to answer that question.

Gerdau is one of 241 companies in the Basic Materials group. The Basic Materials group currently sits at #14 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 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. Gerdau is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for GGB's full-year earnings has moved 6% higher. This signals that analyst sentiment is improving and the stock's earnings outlook is more positive.

Based on the most recent data, GGB has returned 7.3% so far this year. Meanwhile, stocks in the Basic Materials group have gained about 7.2% on average. This shows that Gerdau is outperforming its peers so far this year.

Another stock in the Basic Materials sector, PPG Industries (PPG - Free Report) , has outperformed the sector so far this year. The stock's year-to-date return is 20.3%.

For PPG Industries, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 1.9% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Breaking things down more, Gerdau is a member of the Steel - Producers industry, which includes 23 individual companies and currently sits at #96 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has gained an average of 29.3% so far this year, meaning that GGB is slightly underperforming its industry in terms of year-to-date returns.

On the other hand, PPG Industries belongs to the Chemical - Specialty industry. This 34-stock industry is currently ranked #172. The industry has moved +11% year to date.

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

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