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How to Buy Silver Stocks

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Hecla Mining (HL) represents 5.78% of SIL, or 2 million shares worth $21.6 million.

Company Profile

Hecla Mining is one of the lowest-cost silver producers in the world. In the third quarter, the company produced 2.7 million ounces of silver at a negative cash cost of $1.01 an ounce, helped by byproduct credits.

Hecla has two working silver mines: Greens Creek in Alaska and Lucky Friday in Idaho, which produced 1.9 million and 0.8 million ounces of silver, respectively, in the third quarter. Hecla also has two development projects in Colorado and Mexico.

The company expects to produce 10 million to 11 million ounces of silver in 2010 with a total cash cost of negative 50 cents.

Income Statement

In the third quarter, Hecla Mining earned $19.79 million, or 6 cents a share. Net sales grew 21% from a year earlier to $115.85 million.

Balance Sheet

As of the third quarter, Hecla Mining had $216.58 million in cash and cash equivalents and $5.9 million in long-term debt, down 86% from a year earlier.

Its net cash from operating activities was $41.9 million, up 30% from the same period a year earlier.

TheStreet Ratings has a buy rating on the stock and says the company is very liquid and is unlikely to face financial difficulties over the short term.

Analyst Ratings

Hecla Mining currently has three buy ratings, seven holds and one sell with an average price target of $10.72. The stock trades at a premium to its peers with a P/E ratio of 38.38. Shares returned 84.3% in 2010.

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