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

.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold

(

FCX

) pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold fell 64 cents (-1.7%) to $36.13 on light volume. Throughout the day, 12.7 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $35.84-$36.41 after having opened the day at $36.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.77. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were:

Quaterra Resources

(

QMM

), down 7.8%,

Timberline Resources Corporation

(

TLR

), down 7.2%,

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional

(

SID

), down 5.1%, and

Rhino Resource Partners

(

RNO

), down 5%.

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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt hydroxide, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $33.81 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.1, above the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 10.7 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front,

China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources

(

SHZ

), up 22.6%,

China Gengsheng Minerals

(

CHGS

), up 10.5%,

Gold Standard Ventures

(

GSV

), up 10.3%, and

Crosshair Energy

(

CXZ

), up 6.4%, were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with

Kinross Gold Corporation

(

KGC

) 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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