NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Barrick Gold (ABX) are down by 2.01% to $6.09 in mid-morning trading on Wednesday, as some mining stocks tumble today on the decline in gold prices.

The price of the yellow metal is trading in the red today following positive data out of the U.S. which signaled to investors that an interest rate hike could come before the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Gold for December delivery is falling by 1.07% to $1,114.80 per ounce on the COMEX this morning.

Barrick Gold is a Toronto-based gold mining company that is also engaged in the production and sale of gold and copper and related activities.

Higher interest rates weigh on gold prices as the asset has trouble competing against those that pay interest.

Consumer confidence in the U.S. grew to 103 in September from 101.3 in August, the Journal added.

Members of the Fed are expected to speak later today and the market will be paying close attention "in the hope of receiving some indication of when the Fed might hike interest rates," Commerzbank told the Journal.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates BARRICK GOLD CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate BARRICK GOLD CORP (ABX) a SELL. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, BARRICK GOLD CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • ABX's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 57.21%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, ABX has significantly outperformed against the industry average of 45.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • 41.46% is the gross profit margin for BARRICK GOLD CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of ABX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ABX