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 August 20, 2014 - 10:36 AM EDT
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Top Basic Materials Small-Cap Star for August 20 is Penford Corporation (PENX)

Investing in small-cap materials stocks can be tricky. The direction of the broader economy often plays a big role in their success, and notoriously unpredictable factors like mining output or commodity prices can often be key to maintaining margins. But equities.com's Small-Cap Stars, our proprietary list of those small-cap companies with metrics that are typically the most indicative of future success, gives investors a way to identify those companies that are best-positioned to ride out the tough times and make major gains in the good times.

Here's a look at the five top-performing basic materials Small-Cap Stars:

Penford Corporation (PENX)

Penford Corporation gained 4.35% to $12.47. The gains came on a volume of 21,320 shares against an average daily volume of 94,261 shares. Penford Corporation has had a trading range from $15.18 to $10.71 over the last year, its P/E ratio is 39.4, it has a 50-day SMA of $12.04, and a 200-day SMA of $12.59.

Penford Corp is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of specialty natural-based ingredient systems for many industrial and food applications.

Profire Energy Inc (PFIE)

Profire Energy Inc gained 4.13% to $4.03. The gains came on a volume of 273,997 shares against an average daily volume of 297,776 shares. Profire Energy Inc has had a trading range from $5.89 to $1.73 over the last year, its P/E ratio is 28.7, it has a 50-day SMA of $4.26, and a 200-day SMA of $3.89.

Profire Energy Inc is engaged in the business of developing combustion management technologies for the oil and gas industry. It manufactures, installs and services oilfield combustion management technologies and related products.

Miller Energy Resources (MILL)

Miller Energy Resources gained 3.91% to $5.05. The gains came on a volume of 492,063 shares against an average daily volume of 382,124 shares. Miller Energy Resources has had a trading range from $8.97 to $4.40 over the last year, it has a 50-day SMA of $5.24, and a 200-day SMA of $6.10.

Miller Energy Resources Inc operates as an exploration and production company that utilizes seismic data and other technologies for geophysical exploration and development of oil and gas wells.

Lapolla Industries Inc (LPAD)

Lapolla Industries Inc gained 3.06% to $0.51. The gains came on a volume of 20,500 shares against an average daily volume of 15,587 shares. Lapolla Industries Inc has had a trading range from $0.78 to $0.22 over the last year, it has a 50-day SMA of $0.50, and a 200-day SMA of $0.56.

LaPolla Industries Inc is a manufacturer and distributor of foam, coatings, and equipment, focused on developing and commercializing foam and coatings targeted at commercial and industrial and residential applications.

Rentech Nitrogen Partners (RNF)

Rentech Nitrogen Partners gained 2.27% to $15.32. The gains came on a volume of 58,203 shares against an average daily volume of 100,732 shares. Rentech Nitrogen Partners has had a trading range from $29.81 to $14.42 over the last year, it has a 50-day SMA of $16.28, and a 200-day SMA of $17.68.

Rentech Nitrogen Partners LP is a nitrogen fertilizer manufacturer. The Company produce primarily ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate solution, or UAN.

Equities.com's Small-Cap Stars - Stocks Made From Sterner Stuff

Investing in small-cap materials stocks is a high-risk, high-reward proposition much of the time. Often, the best way to approach the sector is simply limiting the number of misses as much as possible. And that's what the equities.com Small-Cap Stars system does.

By looking at past success stories among basic materials small caps, the Small-Cap Stars system can identify what level several dozen metrics were at among those successful companies and determine which of those factors were the most predictive of future success. We then precisely construct a carefully balanced screen through advanced statistical regression that will identify those companies that currently have the most in common with those that succeeded in the past immediately before those stocks took off.

Among the traits our system found the most revealing of a strong materials company were a low ratio of enterprise value to sales, a low effective tax rate, and a high ROE-cost of equity.

All data provided by QuoteMedia and was accurate as of 4:30 pm ET.

Source: Equities.com News (August 20, 2014 - 10:36 AM EDT)

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