Is Ashland Inc. (ASH) Stock Outpacing Its Basic Materials Peers 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. Is Ashland (ASH) one of those stocks right now? 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.

Ashland is a member of our Basic Materials group, which includes 240 different companies and currently sits at #2 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank gauges the strength of our 16 individual sector groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups.

The Zacks Rank is a proven system that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions, highlighting a variety of stocks that are displaying the right characteristics to beat the market over the next one to three months. Ashland is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for ASH's full-year earnings has moved 5.2% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

Based on the latest available data, ASH has gained about 13.7% so far this year. At the same time, Basic Materials stocks have lost an average of 2.5%. This shows that Ashland is outperforming its peers so far this year.

One other Basic Materials stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is Buenaventura (BVN). The stock is up 10.8% year-to-date.

In Buenaventura's case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 11.1% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Looking more specifically, Ashland belongs to the Chemical - Specialty industry, which includes 33 individual stocks and currently sits at #50 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has lost an average of 21.4% so far this year, meaning that ASH is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.

Buenaventura, however, belongs to the Mining - Silver industry. Currently, this 10-stock industry is ranked #22. The industry has moved +10.2% so far this year.

Investors with an interest in Basic Materials stocks should continue to track Ashland and Buenaventura. These stocks will be looking to continue their solid performance.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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