Allegheny Technologies led the pack of gainers, rising 6% last week. Yanzhou Coal Mining followed, accumulating 2%. Last week, it was known that the coal company is bidding for Australian mining firm Whitehaven Coal, valued at around $3.7 billion.
A few coal companies ended in the green last week after Consol Energy (CNX) recorded higher-than-estimated coal production in the first quarter, thereby raising its annual coal target. Also, JP Morgan raised its price target for coal producers like Arch Coal (ACI), International Coal Group (ICO), Peabody Energy (BTU) and Consol, primarily on the back of higher coal prices.
Another coal company, Westmoreland Coal (WLB), rose 1.5% at the end of last week. Meanwhile, Carpenter Technology (CRS) edged up 0.6% after the company announced to raise its base prices on stainless and specialty alloys between 3% and 5%, effective for orders placed on or after April 15.Among metal and mining stocks, most declined past week as commodity prices eroded significant value during trading. Gold and silver stock Coeur d'Alene Mines was at the helm of losers, declining 14.7%. Following suit, IAMGOLD slipped 13.1%. The company recently announced that it is selling its 19% stake in Tarkwa and Damang gold mines in Ghana to South African mining giant Gold Fields for $667 million. This stake sale will create value for its shareholders through higher cash and cash equivalents of $1 billion. Also, Zacks Investment Research reaffirmed its neutral rating on the stock. Solitario Exploration & Royalty (XPL) eroded 12.9% during the past week after it was downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell due to its feeble growth in earnings per share, weak operating cash flow, and poor profit margins. The company last week priced its underwritten public offering of 3.4 million shares of common stock at $2.50 per share. As gold and silver prices pulled back from their respective highs tracking oil prices, majority of mining and commodity stocks also dropped. Stillwater Mining erased 12.6%, while Mines Management (MGN) lost 12.3%. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) declined 10.6%. Meanwhile, the company went ex-dividend on April 13, 2011 with shareholders eligible for a dividend of 25 cents per share. The company is scheduled to release its first quarter 2011 earnings on April 18, 2011 with earnings per share estimated at $1.26, compared to $1.03 in the year-ago quarter. With silver prices slumping early last week, silver stocks shed most of their accumulated gains. Pan American Silver (PAAS), Silver Wheaton (SLW) and MAG Silver (MVG) dropped 10.7%, 9.2% and 9%, respectively, during the past week. As commodity prices spiraled down last week, copper stocks such as Teck Resources (TCK) and Southern Copper (SCCO) eroded 9.4% and 8.5% in value, respectively.
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