Silver stocks have been performing well recently thanks to a run-up in silver spot prices, which have risen about 5.1% on the New York Mercantile Exchange over the past month. In comparison, gold spot prices have increased only by about 2% over this period.
Silver is currently trading at $18.12 an ounce for spot delivery on Nymex. Some metal experts believe that $16.50 is a good support level and expect silver prices to touch $20 in the near future. Silver spot prices on Nymex are expected to reach $19.22 an ounce by the end of 2010, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg.
Our preferred silver stocks Silver Wheaton (SLW - Get Report), and Pan American Silver (PAAS - Get Report) registered handsome gains of 12.2% and 9.5%, respectively, over the past month. On the other hand, the other major silver producers, Hecla Mining TICKER TYPE=''EQUITY" SYMBOL="HL"/> (HL - Get Report) and Silver Standard Resources (SSRI - Get Report) gained 7.1% and 10.2%, respectively.
Over the past month, small-cap silver producers, Mag Silver (MVG) and Alexco Resource (AXU - Get Report) jumped 12.4% and 18%, respectively. The appreciation in these silver stocks compares favorably with the NYSE composite index, which advanced 3.5% over the past month.The only exception was Endeavour Silver (EXK - Get Report) which declined 4.2% after the company missed earnings consensus last month when it announced fourth-quarter earnings. The lower earnings were mainly attributed to higher total cash costs at Guanajuato mines, one of the company's two proven silver reserves. The company plans to invest $29 million in these mines during the first half of 2010. During the second half of 2010, the Guanacevi and Guanajuato mines are anticipated to unfold their full production capabilities.