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Silver Standard is a new silver producer with 15 exploration and development projects in the Americas and Australia. Its Pirquitas mine in Argentina achieved production in December 2009, a first for Silver Standard, bringing the company from the development to production stage.
Once the mine reaches full production, the mine will produce an average of 8 million to 10 million ounces of silver annually. Production for 2010 is expected to be between 6.3 million and 6.5 million ounces of silver at total cash costs of $17-$17.50 an ounce. As production ramps up, cash costs will fall.
Silver Standard has proven and probable silver reserves of 291.9 million ounces and 0.2 million ounces of gold.
In the third quarter, Silver Standard lost $7.5 million, or 10 cents a share, wider than a year earlier. Net sales grew to $41.56 million from zero a year earlier. The company produced 1.9 million ounces of silver in the third quarter at a $16.94 total cash cost.
As of the third quarter, Silver Standard had $55.36 million in cash and cash equivalents with $16.28 million in total debt, slightly higher from a year earlier. The company pays no dividend but according to
TheStreet Ratings, can cover short-term cash needs.
TheStreet Ratings has a sell rating on the stock.
Of the six ratings on the stock, three are buys and three are holds with an average price target of $30.28. The stock trades at a forward-looking P/E ratio of 40.49, well below the industry average of 67.12. Shares returned 28.17% for 2010.
On inception, these were the top five publicly traded silver stocks in the U.S. Since then the fund has shuffled allocations to swap in First Majestic Silver(AG) and Silvercorp Metal(SVM) in lieu of Coeur and Silver Standard. For purposes of this breakdown, I used the top 5 publicly traded stocks at inception.