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Metal & Mining Stocks: Performance Review


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- James River Coal (JRCC), Alumina (AWC) and Haynes International (HAYN) gained last week, while Solitario Exploration & Royalty (XPL), Mines Management (MGN) and Kinross Gold (KGC) were among the laggards.

James River Coal emerged the top gainer last week, jumping 19.2%. Alumina followed, at 15.6%. Haynes International rose 15.1% after Auriga initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating and price target of $65, indicating a 30% increase from current levels.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) rose 11.7% after Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to buy from the earlier hold rating. Also, the bank has raised the stock's price target to $56 from the earlier $54, representing 65% upside from current levels. This past week, FCX said it is scaling up mining and milling output and concentrate sales at its giant Indonesian mine after a few more workers returned to work after a strike.

Teck Resources (TCK) swung 11.1% higher after the resource sector stocks gained, riding on higher commodity prices. Copper prices rose 5.5% at the close last week on the optimism that the eurozone will take decisive action to resolve its debt crisis this week.

Rio Tinto (RIO) and Aluminum Corporation of China (ACH) jumped 10.3% and 9.8%, respectively. During the week, Qantas signed a three-year agreement with Rio Tinto to enable the mining giant's growth and to optimize mutual commercial opportunities. The new agreement will see Qantas continuing as the preferred air service provider for Rio's Australian and international operations.

This past week, Platinum Group Metals (PLG) and ArcelorMittal (MT) gained 9.7% and 9.3%, respectively. ArcelorMittal said last week it estimates EBITDA in 2011 to be higher than in 2009, even if the global economy slips into recession. The steel giant has confirmed its mining output targets for the year with iron ore on track to meet the 10% growth as it begins shipments from Liberia.

Among others, Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) and Harsco (HSC) increased 9.2% and 9%, respectively. BHP Billiton (BHP) gained 7.7% after it was upgraded to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse. Worthington Industries (WOR) rose 6.5%. Early last week, the company declared a quarterly dividend of 12 cents per share payable Dec. 29, 2011.

New Gold (NGD) and Consol Energy (CNX) advanced 6.4% and 6.2%, respectively. Zacks Investment Research has upgraded New Gold to outperform from neutral. Meanwhile, Noble Energy has finalized its joint venture partnership with Consol Energy for the development of Marcellus Shale assets in Southwest Pennsylvania and Northwest West Virginia.

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