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How to Buy Silver Stocks

Stocks in this article: SIL SLW

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Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) represents 4.11% of SIL, or 543,448 shares worth $15.3 million.

Company Profile

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.

Income Statement

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.

Balance Sheet

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.

Analyst Ratings

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.

More on Gold
Gold Price News
How to Invest in Gold

-- (symbol) by Alix Steel in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alix Steel.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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