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10 Best-Performing Mining Stocks in 2010

4. Stillwater Mining (SWC) is the only producer of palladium and platinum in the U.S. and the largest primary producer of platinum group metals (PGMs) outside of South Africa and Russia.

The stock will likely see an upside on the growing deficit for PGMs. The company has been investing in new projects such as Graham Creek at its East Boulder mine and Blitz at its Stillwater mine, to leverage the anticipated uptrend in palladium and platinum prices.

For the 2010 third quarter, the company's gold production was up 15%, while total cash cost, net of by-product sales, declined by $35 per ounce. In the current quarter, gold production and sales are anticipated to rise, with further reductions in cash cost. For the full year, the company anticipates production between 330,000 and 360,000 ounces of gold, growing to over 400,000 ounces in 2012.

Year-to-date, the stock surged around 119% and analysts anticipate a further upside of 44% with a target price of $30.0. In comparison, North American Palladium (PAL) and Platinum Group Metals (PLG) have an upside potential of 10% and 37%, respectively.

Analysts foresee the company reporting earnings of 61 cents per share for 2010 and $1.78 per share for 2011, a turnaround from a loss of 10 cents registered during 2009. Of the three analysts covering the stock, two recommend buying and one holding.

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