Metals and Mining: Winners and Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Mines Management (MGN), Great Northern Iron Ore Properties (GNI) and New Gold (NGD) headed the gainers' list last week, while Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), International Coal (ICO), and Walter Energy (WLT) were the top losers last week.

Mines Management was the top advancer last week, gaining around 20.2% after filing a technical report in support of the Preliminary Economic Assessment for its Montanore Silver-Copper project in Montana.

New Gold posted an 11.6% increase, after reporting highest gold production and lowest cash cost in its history during 2010. For the full-year, gold production stood at 381,911 ounces, beating the company's guidance of 330,000-360,000 ounces. Meanwhile, annual cash cost per ounce, net of by-product sales, came in at $428 per ounce, lower than its 2010 guidance of $430 to $450 per ounce. BMO raised its rating on New Gold to outperform from market perform and Cormark securities upgraded the stock to buy from market perform last week.

Stillwater Mining ( SWC), North American Palladium ( PAL), and Platinum Group Metals ( PLG) were up 11.5%, 9.8% and 6.7%, respectively, as platinum and palladium for COMEX spot delivery gained nearly 3.0% and 0.4%, respectively,.

Mechel ( MTL) piled 10.2% after Troika upgraded the stock to buy from hold on higher coal prices. In the penultimate week, Goldman Sachs raised its price target on Mechel to $40 from $34.7.

Silver stocks dominated the advancers' list as the white metal COMEX spot delivery rose 4.3% last week. Other movers Mag Silver ( MVG), Endeavour Silver ( EXK), Silver Wheaton ( SLW), Hecla Mining ( HL) and Compania de Minas Buenaventura ( BVN) posted 9.5%, 8.0%, 7.5%, 6.4% and 5.7% gains, respectively.

Massey Energy ( MEE) advanced 9.0% during the week after announcement of its acquisition by Alpha Natural Resources. Massey reported fourth quarter revenue of $730 million during the week vs. consensus $723.7 million, while earnings per share plunged 69 cents vs. consensus 31 cents on margin declines.

BHP Billiton ( BHP) rose 8.1%. During the week, the company announced that its Jansen, Saskatchewan greenfield project progressed to the feasibility stage. In a separate news, the company announced plans to invest $200 million to expand Spence Copper mine in Northern Chile.

Teck Resources ( TCK) and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) were up 8.0% and 6.9%, respectively, backed by a 5.4% increase in LME copper prices for spot delivery. In addition, UBS has upgraded Teck Resources to buy from neutral.

Similarly, Alcoa ( AA), Alumina ( AWC), Kaiser Aluminum ( KALU) and Aluminum Corporation of China ( ACH) added 6.3%, 7.8%, 4.6%, 4.2%, respectively, as LME aluminum for spot delivery gained 2.5%.

Alpha Natural Resources headed the losers' list last week, plunging 8.3%, on a possible downgrade from Moody's. International Coal Group declined 5.4% after the company reported weaker-than-expected fourth quarter results. Earnings per share came in at 5 cents vs. consensus 7 cents on lower production.

Patriot Coal ( PCX) dipped 1.4% after revenue of $528.2 million came below analysts' estimates of $542.3 million.

Harmony Gold Mining ( HMY) dropped 0.1% despite a surging gold prices after a fatal accident at Tshepond mine in which a worker was killed.

Walter Energy, James River Coal ( JRCC) and Schnitzer Steel Industries ( SCHN) were the only decliners among other metal & mining stocks, shedding 2.5%, 2.1%, and 0.1%, respectively.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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