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 March 19, 2015 - 11:36 AM EDT
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Top Basic Materials Small-Cap Star for March 19 is Willbros Group Inc. (WG)

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:

Willbros Group Inc. (WG)

Willbros Group Inc. gained 15.24% to $3.10. The gains came on a volume of 4,282,480 shares against an average daily volume of 795,749 shares. Willbros Group Inc. has had a trading range from $13.69 to $1.50 over the last year, it has a 50-day SMA of $5.88, and a 200-day SMA of $8.12.

Willbros Group Inc is a specialty energy infrastructure contractor serving the oil, gas, refinery, petrochemical and power industries. It operates through three business segments; Utility T&D, Oil & Gas, Canada and Professional Services.

Senomyx Inc. (SNMX)

Senomyx Inc. gained 7.78% to $4.85. The gains came on a volume of 311,734 shares against an average daily volume of 282,852 shares. Senomyx Inc. has had a trading range from $12.44 to $4.16 over the last year, it has a 50-day SMA of $5.31, and a 200-day SMA of $6.84.

Senomyx Inc discovers, develops and commercializes flavor ingredients for the packaged food, beverage and ingredient supply industries by including savory and cooling flavors and flavor modulators, such as sweet and salt modifiers and bitter blockers.

Par Petroleum Corp (PARR)

Par Petroleum Corp gained 4.07% to $21.76. The gains came on a volume of 200,869 shares against an average daily volume of 68,441 shares. Par Petroleum Corp has had a trading range from $21.25 to $12.53 over the last year, it has a 50-day SMA of $18.41, and a 200-day SMA of $17.52.

Par Petroleum Corporation is a diversified energy holding company. The Company operates an integrated sourcing, marketing, transportation and distribution business focused on energy commodities, mainly crude oil.

Rentech Nitrogen Partners (RNF)

Rentech Nitrogen Partners gained 3.11% to $15.92. The gains came on a volume of 127,894 shares against an average daily volume of 111,325 shares. Rentech Nitrogen Partners has had a trading range from $19.23 to $8.75 over the last year, it has a 50-day SMA of $12.63, and a 200-day SMA of $12.99.

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

Charles & Colvard Ltd (CTHR)

Charles & Colvard Ltd gained 1.69% to $1.20. The gains came on a volume of 79,603 shares against an average daily volume of 40,887 shares. Charles & Colvard Ltd has had a trading range from $4.26 to $1.16 over the last year, it has a 50-day SMA of $1.55, and a 200-day SMA of $1.95.

Charles & Colvard Ltd is engaged in manufacturing, marketing and distribution of moissanite jewels, finished jewelry and fashion finished jewelry for sale in the international jewelry market.

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 (March 19, 2015 - 11:36 AM EDT)

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