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7 Mining Stocks to Watch

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The world's top 40 miners achieved combined net profit of $110 billion in 2010, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers Mine 2011 report. These miners have managed to slash their debt by half and have built cash reserves of $105 billion. Moreover, they have announced capital expenditure of $300 billion for 2011.

In the first half of 2011, 1,379 mining M&A deals worth $71 billion were announced globally, according to a PwC report. On average, the deal value stood at $104 million, 40% higher than the year-ago period. With volatile global markets putting downward pressures on mining valuations for remaining part of 2011, deal activity is foreseen to slowdown. Despite the expected slowdown in deals during the second half of 2011, demand for metals from China and other emerging nations will drive the sector's long-term fundamentals. Also, factors like an average mining company recording all-time low debt levels and high cash flow and profitability levels would support industry growth.

Based on latest quarterly results and strong analysts' buy, hold recommendations for attractive future returns, these seven mining stocks have potential upsides ranging from 18% to 54%. The average buy recommendation for these stocks is 63%, while average hold rating is 33%, based on a Bloomberg consensus.

The stocks are arranged in ascending order of potential upside.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AEM $31.80 0.73%
BHP $52.03 -0.25%
CDE $5.10 -6.42%
HBM $9.90 -2.75%
NEM $25.95 -0.38%

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