NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Hecla Mining Co. (HL) - Get Report are up 4.48% to $3.50 with gold prices rising above $1,300 an ounce on Thursday, shaking off earlier losses, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced a bigger-than-expected bond-buying program, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Gold for February delivery was up 0.64%, to $1,302 a troy ounce at 1:54 p.m. on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The ECB will buy 60 billion euros of public and private sector debt a month, starting in March 2015 and continuing until September 2016. This was on the upper end of expectations, the Journal noted.

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Gold prices shrugged off earlier losses and advanced in response to the news, the Journal said, adding some investors view gold as a store of value and a better bet than currencies or government bonds during periods of monetary easing.

Separately, the miner announced yesterday the discovery of high-grade near-surface resources at its San Sebastian property in Durango, Mexico.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HECLA MINING CO as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HECLA MINING CO (HL) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, 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. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

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

  • HL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.44% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • 35.81% is the gross profit margin for HECLA MINING CO which we consider to be strong. Regardless of HL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HL's net profit margin of 2.71% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, HECLA MINING CO's return on equity has significantly outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • HECLA MINING CO reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HECLA MINING CO swung to a loss, reporting -$0.08 versus $0.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.03 versus -$0.08).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income increased by 143.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$8.46 million to $3.68 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HL Ratings Report

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