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Are you a follower of trends? If so, you may be interested to know that institutional investors have been going wild for basic material stocks. Why? Likely because the costs of basic materials have been rising.

For some, this is bad news. For example, it has become difficult for residential construction companies to make much of a profit when prices of copper, drywall, shingles, gold, and plenty of other basic materials continually rise.

For others, this price climb presents an opportunity. Institutional investors certainly agree. Over the current quarter Institutional investors have been buying up significant percentages of basic material sector share floats.

To narrow down our list of basic material stocks to those that are potentially undervalued we did the following:

First we took only the names with significant institutional investing that represented net purchases over 5% of shares float. All stocks have market caps over $300M.

Secondly, we searched for those undervalued by earnings per share (EPS) target price (used as a proxy for fair value). EPS target price is the average expected price level set by analysts.

We took only the names with an implied discount over 15% to create the final list of 30 stocks below.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

Do you think these names will reach their target prices? Use the data below as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by potential upside.

1. TransGlobe Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:TGA): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $864.58M. Current price at $12.04 vs. target price of $16.77 (implies a potential upside of 39.29%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 10.2M, representing 14.71% of the company's 69.33M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 11.43% over the last week.

2. Century Aluminum Co. (NASDAQ:CENX): Aluminum Industry. Market cap of $1.30B. Current price at $14.2 vs. target price of $19.75 (implies a potential upside of 39.08%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.0M, representing 5.35% of the company's 56.12M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 3.42). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 11.25%.

3. PetroQuest Energy Inc. (NYSE:PQ): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $426.96M. Current price at $6.76 vs. target price of $9.29 (implies a potential upside of 37.43%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.0M, representing 8.38% of the company's 47.76M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 15.34% (equivalent to 8.35 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.19% over the last week.

4. Endeavour International Corporation (NYSE:END): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $489.0M. Current price at $13.37 vs. target price of $18.14 (implies a potential upside of 35.68%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 10.9M, representing 41.63% of the company's 26.18M share float. The stock has gained 63.6% over the last year.

5. Stone Energy Corp. (NYSE:SGY): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $1.41B. Current price at $29.44 vs. target price of $39.8 (implies a potential upside of 35.19%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.8M, representing 10.81% of the company's 44.41M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.51). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.07% over the last week.

6. Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (NYSE:CLD): Industrial Metals & Minerals Industry. Market cap of $1.18B. Current price at $19.34 vs. target price of $26.14 (implies a potential upside of 35.16%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.8M, representing 6.4% of the company's 59.39M share float. The stock has gained 33.31% over the last year.

7. Vantage Drilling Company (NYSEMKT:VTG): Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $525.15M. Current price at $1.85 vs. target price of $2.49 (implies a potential upside of 34.59%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 19.8M, representing 11.73% of the company's 168.85M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.02). The stock has gained 15.29% over the last year.

8. Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE): Specialty Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $388.13M. Current price at $10.63 vs. target price of $14.25 (implies a potential upside of 34.05%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 1.5M, representing 7.26% of the company's 20.66M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.19). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 15.52% (equivalent to 15.89 days of average volume). The stock has lost 14.92% over the last year.

9. CVR Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CVI): Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing Industry. Market cap of $1.95B. Current price at $22.5 vs. target price of $30 (implies a potential upside of 33.33%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 13.9M, representing 20.77% of the company's 66.91M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.37% over the last week.

10. Atlas Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE:APL): Oil & Gas Pipelines Industry. Market cap of $1.65B. Current price at $30.91 vs. target price of $41 (implies a potential upside of 32.64%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.7M, representing 11.54% of the company's 40.73M share float. After a solid performance over the last year, APL has pulled back during recent sessions. The stock has gained 198.36% over the last year.

11. Penn Virginia Corp. (NYSE:PVA): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $658.56M. Current price at $14.5 vs. target price of $19.11 (implies a potential upside of 31.79%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.2M, representing 7.07% of the company's 45.26M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 19.95% (equivalent to 10.33 days of average volume). The stock has lost 40.27% over the last year.

12. FX Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:FXEN): Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $402.34M. Current price at $7.68 vs. target price of $9.92 (implies a potential upside of 29.17%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 6.5M, representing 13.08% of the company's 49.70M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.83% (equivalent to 6.97 days of average volume). The stock has gained 103.98% over the last year.

13. Augusta Resource Corp. (NYSEMKT:AZC): Industrial Metals & Minerals Industry. Market cap of $569.81M. Current price at $3.98 vs. target price of $5.12 (implies a potential upside of 28.64%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 8.4M, representing 10.14% of the company's 82.82M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.12). The stock has gained 130.64% over the last year.

14. Noble Corp. (NYSE:NE): Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $9.50B. Current price at $37.65 vs. target price of $48.34 (implies a potential upside of 28.39%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 19.6M, representing 7.82% of the company's 250.53M share float. The stock has gained 24.83% over the last year.

15. Ensco plc (NYSE:ESV): Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $7.35B. Current price at $51.56 vs. target price of $65.85 (implies a potential upside of 27.72%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 22.0M, representing 15.61% of the company's 140.94M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 14.47% (equivalent to 6.14 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.76% over the last week.

16. Resolute Energy Corporation (NYSE:REN): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $993.20M. Current price at $16.36 vs. target price of $20.83 (implies a potential upside of 27.32%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 9.6M, representing 27.51% of the company's 34.90M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 12.23% (equivalent to 17.18 days of average volume). The stock has gained 47.82% over the last year.

17. Rosetta Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROSE): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $2.30B. Current price at $43.73 vs. target price of $55.63 (implies a potential upside of 27.21%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.8M, representing 7.5% of the company's 50.69M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.03). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 7.88% (equivalent to 5.38 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.74% over the last week.

18. Harry Winston Diamond Corporation (HWD): Nonmetallic Mineral Mining Industry. Market cap of $1.28B. Current price at $15.27 vs. target price of $19.31 (implies a potential upside of 26.46%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.0M, representing 5.16% of the company's 77.53M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.19). The stock has gained 6.66% over the last year.

19. YPF S.A. (NYSE:YPF): Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing Industry. Market cap of $16.35B. Current price at $42.23 vs. target price of $53.25 (implies a potential upside of 26.1%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 40.3M, representing 32.85% of the company's 122.67M share float. The stock has gained 13.39% over the last year.

20. Western Refining Inc. (NYSE:WNR): Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing Industry. Market cap of $1.37B. Current price at $15.28 vs. target price of $19.21 (implies a potential upside of 25.72%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 15.9M, representing 29.37% of the company's 54.13M share float. The stock has gained 189.29% over the last year.

21. Continental Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLR): Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $10.73B. Current price at $59.93 vs. target price of $74.56 (implies a potential upside of 24.41%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 10.5M, representing 18.64% of the company's 56.32M share float. The stock has gained 18.35% over the last year.

22. Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (NASDAQ:AHGP): Nonmetallic Mineral Mining Industry. Market cap of $2.68B. Current price at $44.96 vs. target price of $55.75 (implies a potential upside of 24%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 1.2M, representing 7.98% of the company's 15.04M share float. The stock has gained 35.21% over the last year.

23. Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (NYSEMKT:MDM): Nonmetallic Mineral Mining Industry. Market cap of $442.80M. Current price at $5.7 vs. target price of $7.05 (implies a potential upside of 23.68%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 2.8M, representing 7.58% of the company's 36.95M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.03). The stock has gained 132.64% over the last year.

24. EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EOG): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $27.28B. Current price at $101.74 vs. target price of $122.83 (implies a potential upside of 20.73%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 19.8M, representing 7.42% of the company's 266.82M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 8.28% over the last week.

25. El Paso Corp. (EP): Oil & Gas Pipelines Industry. Market cap of $14.70B. Current price at $19.77 vs. target price of $23.77 (implies a potential upside of 20.23%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 60.3M, representing 7.89% of the company's 764.54M share float. The stock has gained 52.59% over the last year.

26. Innophos Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:IPHS): Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $1.01B. Current price at $46.32 vs. target price of $55.33 (implies a potential upside of 19.45%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 1.4M, representing 6.6% of the company's 21.22M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.07% over the last week.

27. ATP Oil & Gas Corp. (ATPG): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $809.71M. Current price at $16.18 vs. target price of $19.14 (implies a potential upside of 18.29%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.0M, representing 7.69% of the company's 39.02M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.69). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 40.93% (equivalent to 11.87 days of average volume).

28. Comstock Resources Inc. (NYSE:CRK): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $1.32B. Current price at $27.7 vs. target price of $32.13 (implies a potential upside of 15.99%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.5M, representing 7.84% of the company's 44.63M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 17.98% (equivalent to 7.96 days of average volume). The stock has lost 16.3% over the last year.

29. MarkWest Energy Partners LP (NYSE:MWE): Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $3.43B. Current price at $44.76 vs. target price of $51.63 (implies a potential upside of 15.35%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.1M, representing 6.15% of the company's 66.67M share float. The stock has gained 55.21% over the last year.

30. Targa Resources Partners LP (NYSE:NGLS): Oil & Gas Pipelines Industry. Market cap of $2.84B. Current price at $33.35 vs. target price of $38.44 (implies a potential upside of 15.26%). Net Institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.5M, representing 6.19% of the company's 72.74M share float. The stock has gained 47.62% over the last year.

*Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: Top 30 Basic Material Stocks Favored by Big Money