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10 Best-Performing Mining Stocks in 2010

Stocks in this article: XME CLF TCK SLW

9. Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) , a stock selling at deep discounts and listed among the top 10 mining stocks with upside and with a high-beta value, is the largest producer of iron ore pellets in North America.

For the current quarter, Cliffs is anticipated to report earnings of $2.25 per share, in comparison with the 82 cents per share reported in the year-earlier period. For the full-year, Cliffs' earnings are estimated at $6.92 per share for 2010 and $9.24 per share for 2011, a remarkable growth from $1.63 per share reported for 2009. Of the 12 analysts covering the stock, nine recommend buying and three suggest holding.

Despite a 68% gain from its recent lows on July 6, the stock is trading at an attractive forward PE multiple of 10.9. Year-to-date, the stock gained around 62%, ahead of steel producers such as Mechel's (MTL) 49%, Worthington's (SCHN) 35%, Schnitzer Steel's (SCHN) 30%, and Ternium's (TX) 10% gains.

Leading integrated steel producer U.S. Steel (X) gained 1.1% year-to-date, while non-integrated steel maker A.K. Steel (AKS) plunged 33%. Among others, ArcelorMittal (MT), Nucor (NUE), Steel Dynamics (STLD) and Posco (PKX) declined around 19%, 7%, 4% and 22%, respectively.

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