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Has BHP Billiton (BHP) Outpaced Other Basic Materials Stocks 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? 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.

BHP Billiton is one of 238 companies in the Basic Materials group. The Basic Materials group currently sits at #15 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 is a successful stock-picking model that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions. The system highlights a number of different stocks that could be poised to outperform the broader market over the next one to three months. BHP is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BHP's full-year earnings has moved 14.86% higher within the past quarter. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

Our latest available data shows that BHP has returned about 7.72% since the start of the calendar year. At the same time, Basic Materials stocks have lost an average of 4.65%. This means that BHP Billiton is outperforming the sector as a whole this year.

To break things down more, BHP belongs to the Mining - Miscellaneous industry, a group that includes 32 individual companies and currently sits at #169 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have gained 1.53% this year, meaning that BHP is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.

BHP will likely be looking to continue its solid performance, so investors interested Basic Materials stocks should continue to pay close attention to the company.

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