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Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF): Today's Featured Metals & Mining Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF) pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Cliffs Natural Resources fell $1.16 (-5.7%) to $19.17 on average volume. Throughout the day, 14,096,725 shares of Cliffs Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12,755,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $19.02-$20.45 after having opened the day at $20.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.33. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were: Quaterra Resources ( QMM), down 20.4%, Great Basin Gold ( GBG), down 13.8%, James River Coal Company ( JRCC), down 9.9% and Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), down 7.4%.

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Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., a mining and natural resources company, engages in the production of iron ore pellets, fines and lump ore, and metallurgical coal. Cliffs Natural Resources has a market cap of $3.3 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 47.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Cliffs Natural Resources a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cliffs Natural Resources as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its generally strong cash flow from operations. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 23.3%, Tasman Metals ( TAS), down 10.7%, Uranium Resources ( URRE), down 9.2% and Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM), down 8.9% , were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with Peabody Energy Corporation ( BTU) being today's featured metals & mining industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the metals & mining industry could consider SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF ( XME) while those bearish on the metals & mining industry could consider PowerShares DB Base Metals Sht ETN ( BOS).

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