7 Basic Materials Plays Trading Heavily to New 52-Week Highs

Michael Teague |

Aside from some bullish behavior on the part of certain components of the energy industry, particularly independent, non-integrated oil and gas companies, the basic materials sector as a whole has  lagged behind the rest of the market in 2013. But this is by no means to suggest that there is a lack of interesting, portfolio-friendly equities in the space.

A number of companies set new watermarks last week, having done so on heavier trading than usual. These same companies have also been enjoying a really good quarter so far, posting substantial increases in their respective rates of return.

The following  seven companies have been selected from the basic materials sector, based on three criteria:

- The stock hit a new 52-week high during the previous trading session.
- The relative volume for the previous trading session was greater than 1, indicating that the stock was trading above its 3-month average for the day.
- Positive performance: the stock’s rate of return must be higher throughout the current period.


Nucor Corporation (NUE)
Industry: Steel & Iron
Market-Cap: $16.85 billion
Last Closing Price: $52.75
Relative Volume: 1.28
New 52-Week High: $53.19
Quarter: +13.81 percent
-The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company has been around since 1940, as a manufacturer and purveyor of steel and steel products with a clientele that spans the globe. Nucor's business is seprarated into three main segments: steel mills, steel products, and raw materials.


Methanex Corp. (MEOH)

Industry: Specialty Chemicals
Market-Cap: $5.59 billion
Last Closing Price: $58.72
Relative Volume: 1.86
New 52-Week High: $59.41
Quarter: +22.16 percent
-The Vancouver, Canada-based company produces methanol to oil and gas refiners for blending in to gasoline and other cooking and heating products. Methanex has production and storage terminals scattered across the globe, and also operates its own fleet of methanol tankers for sea-transport.


SunCoke Energy Inc (SXC)
Industry: Steel & Iron
Market-Cap: $1.43 billion
Last Closing Price: $20.49
Relative Volume: 1.91
New 52-Week High: $20.58
Quarter: +28.06 percent
- The Isle, Illinois company mines and produces coke throughout the Americas, as a purveyor of the variety of metallurgical and thermal coal necessary to the process of making steel.


Bill Barrett Corp. (BBG)
Industry: Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration
Market-Cap: $1.43 billion
Last Closing Price: $30.17
New 52-Week High: $30.69
Quarter: +35.60 percent

-Founded in 2002, the Denver, Colorado oil and gas driller operates mainly in that states Rocky Mountain range, where there are a number of promising shale deposits, such as the Uinta, the Denver-Julesburg.


Ferro Corp. (FOE)

Industry: Specialty Chemicals
Market-Cap: $1.11 billion
Last Closing Price: $12.81
Relative Volume: 1.36
New 52-Week High: $13.00
Quarter: +85.92 percent
-The chemicals manufacturer from Mayfield Heights, Ohio operates through 6 different segments: performance coatings, electronic materials, color and glass performance paterials, polymer additives, specialty plastics, and pharmaceuticals.


Penn Virginia Corporation (PVA)
Industry: Independent Oil & Gas
Market-Cap: $578.67 million
Last Closing Price: $9.20
Relative Volume: 4.24
New 52-Week High: $9.27
Quarter: +76.25 percent
-The Pennsylvania-based oil independent searches and drills for shale oil and gas primarily in Texas's Eagle Ford field, but also in other shale formations around the state, and has 113 million barrels of oil equivalent.


Arabian American Development Company (ARSD)
Industry: Major Diversified Chemicals
Market-Cap: $225.91 million
Last Closing Price: $9.37
Relative Volume: 2.30
New 52-Week High: $9.85
Quarter: +9.85 percent

-The Sugar Land, Texas-based company operates a petrochemical facility located in southeast Texas, which specializes in high purity petrochemical solvents and other solvent type manufacturing. It also owns a 37% interest in Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Company, that runs mining assets for copper and zinc concentrates in Najran province in southwestern Saudi Arabia

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Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
PVA Penn Virginia Corp. n/a n/a n/a 0
BBG Bill Barrett Corporation 5.93 -0.05 -0.75 223,909
FOE Ferro Corporation 14.30 0.01 0.07 11,615
MEOH Methanex Corporation 52.10 -0.40 -0.76 110,813
SXC SunCoke Energy Inc. 9.99 -0.04 -0.40 114,971
NUE Nucor Corporation 63.83 -0.66 -1.02 343,760
ROCAF Roca Mines Inc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0


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