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Are Basic Materials Stocks Lagging Nutrien (NTR) This Year?

For those looking to find strong Basic Materials stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Has Nutrien (NTR) been one of those stocks this year? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Basic Materials sector should help us answer this question.

Nutrien is one of 242 individual stocks in the Basic Materials sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #12 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors.

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. Nutrien is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for NTR's full-year earnings has moved 6.6% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

Based on the latest available data, NTR has gained about 9.7% so far this year. In comparison, Basic Materials companies have returned an average of -11.3%. As we can see, Nutrien is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.

SQM (SQM) is another Basic Materials stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has returned 87.9%.

For SQM, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 105.8% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Looking more specifically, Nutrien belongs to the Fertilizers industry, a group that includes 7 individual stocks and currently sits at #73 in the Zacks Industry Rank. Stocks in this group have gained about 25% so far this year, so NTR is slightly underperforming its industry this group in terms of year-to-date returns. SQM is also part of the same industry.

Going forward, investors interested in Basic Materials stocks should continue to pay close attention to Nutrien and SQM as they could maintain their solid performance.


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