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





) pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.6%. By the end of trading, Gerdau fell 38 cents (-4.1%) to $8.96 on average volume. Throughout the day, 10.2 million shares of Gerdau exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $8.92-$9.32 after having opened the day at $9.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.34. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were:

United States Antimony Corporation



), down 12.3%,

Minco Gold Corporation



), down 9.4%,

Comstock Mining



), down 8.2%, and

Thompson Creek Metals Company



), down 7%.

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Gerdau S.A. engages in the production and sale of steel products in Brazil and internationally. Gerdau has a market cap of $16.21 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.9, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 15.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Gerdau a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gerdau as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front,

Entree Gold



), up 6.8%,

China Gerui Advanced Materials Group



), up 4.6%,

Sutor Technology Group



), up 4.3%, and

Crosshair Energy



), up 4.1%, were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with

Anglogold Ashanti



) 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



) while those bearish on the metals & mining industry could consider

PowerShares DB Base Metals Sht ETN




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