Gold prices have been held under $1,200 an ounce for much of the last several weeks thanks to a strong dollar, but the precious metal rose 1.57% to $1,200.50 at 1:47 p.m., according to CNBC. Silver rose 2.76% to $16.22.
But the broader outlook for gold remains pessimistic. The precious metal is on track for back-to-back annual losses for the first time since 1998.
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The federal government released data last week that indicated the U.S. economy has grown at its fastest rate in a decade. The data increased speculation that the economic expansion could cause the Federal Reserve to start to increase interest rates, according to Bloomberg.
"There's not much to give gold a boost, and there's not a lot of liquidity here today. Gold prices are going to get a lot lower in 2015, especially once the first rate increase occurs," a senior market strategist at RJO Futures told Bloomberg.
Separately, 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 some concerns, 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:
- In its most recent trading session, HL has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, HECLA MINING CO has 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 (-$0.02 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