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Is BHP Billiton (BHP) Stock Outpacing Its Basic Materials Peers This Year?

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Investors focused on the Basic Materials space have likely heard of BHP Billiton (BHP - Free Report) , but is the stock performing well in comparison to the rest of its sector peers? One simple way to answer this question is to take a look at the year-to-date performance of BHP and the rest of the Basic Materials group's stocks.

BHP Billiton is a member of our Basic Materials group, which includes 238 different companies and currently sits 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 is a proven model that highlights a variety of stocks with the right characteristics to outperform the market over the next one to three months. The system emphasizes earnings estimate revisions and favors companies with improving earnings outlooks. BHP is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for BHP's full-year earnings has moved 18.55% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.

Based on the most recent data, BHP has returned 5.87% so far this year. Meanwhile, the Basic Materials sector has returned an average of -4.94% on a year-to-date basis. This means that BHP Billiton is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

Looking more specifically, BHP belongs to the Mining - Miscellaneous industry, which includes 32 individual stocks and currently sits at #186 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has lost an average of 2.56% so far this year, meaning that BHP is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.

Going forward, investors interested in Basic Materials stocks should continue to pay close attention to BHP as it looks to continue its solid performance.

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