Metals and Mining: Winners and Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Solitario Exploration & Royalty (XPL), Mines Management (MGN) and Silver Wheaton (SLW) topped the gainers' list last week; Teck Resources (TCK), Southern Copper (SCCO) and Rio Tinto (RIO) were in the losers' list.

Solitario Exploration & Royalty was the top advancer last week, gaining around 26.1%. On February 17, the stock saw unusual market activity with increased trading volume.

Silver stocks dominated the winners' list as the white metal's COMEX spot delivery rose 6.8% last week. Mines Management and Silver Wheaton surged 15.7%, and 14.5%, respectively, leading the pack of silver producers. Compania de Minas Buenaventura ( BVN) jumped 12.0%. The stock hit six-week highs in Lima last week, trading on investors' speculation that the earnings report scheduled for Feb. 24 will reflect gains from subsidiaries, Bloomberg reports.

Among other silver producers, Pan American Silver ( PAAS), Hecla Mining ( HL), Coeur d'Alene Mines ( CDE), Mag Silver ( MVG), Endeavour Silver ( EXK) and Silver Standard Resources ( SSRI) posted 11.2%, 10.9%, 10.0%, 9.9%, 8.1% and 8.0% gains, respectively.

Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF) advanced 10.3%, after reporting 2010 fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share at $2.82 vs. estimates of $2.22. Longbow raised its price target on the stock to $135 from $100, reflecting a 39.8% upside.

Gold Fields ( GFI) rose 9.2%, riding on its results for the second quarter ended December 31, 2010. Earnings ex-items were $211 million, in comparison to $135 million reported in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, for 2011, the company plans to increase its output by around 5.7%. Citi raised its price target to 100 Rand from 95 Rand, while Morgan Stanley raised its target to 125 Rand from 116 Rand.

AK Steel ( AKS) gained around 8.8%. During the week, the company announced increasing stainless steel prices by 4 cents per pound.

Meanwhile, U.S. Steel ( X) advanced 5.0% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and raised the price target to $75 from $61, based on U.S. Steel's leverage on rising steel prices. In addition, Goldman increased EPS estimates to $3.50 from $2.50 for 2011, $6.00 from $5.00 for 2012, and $6.25 from $5.50 for 2011. Other steel producers like Steel Dynamics ( STLD), Schnitzer Steel Industries ( SCHN) and Ternium ( TX) were up 7.4%, 5.7% and 4.7%, respectively.

Barrick Gold ( ABX) piled 8.2% after reporting 2010 fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share at 95 cents vs. estimates of 86 cents. Meanwhile, net income quadrupled to $896 million from $215 million reported a year earlier.

North American Palladium ( PAL) advanced 6.3%. During the week, the company completed its previously announced flow-through financing through which it sold 2,667,000 flow-through shares on a guaranteed basis at a price of C$8.25 per share. Platinum and palladium for COMEX spot delivery dipped nearly 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively. Meanwhile, Platinum Group Metals ( PLG) and Stillwater Mining ( SWC) gained 5.6%, and 2.5%, respectively.

AngloGold Ashanti ( AU) jumped around 6.2%. The company expected first quarter output around 1.04 million ounces vs. 1.15 million ounces reported in 2010 fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the company raised its dividend and repaid debt faster than expected, following its decision to eliminate gold hedges, Bloomberg reports.

Eldorado Gold ( EGO) climbed 6.2%, although 2010 fourth quarter earnings per share came in at 8 cents vs. consensus 11 cents. Meanwhile, revenue came in at $212.9 million vs. estimated $204 million.

Among other gold producers Randgold Resources ( GOLD), IAMGOLD ( IAG), Harmony Gold ( HMY), Yamana Gold ( AUY) and Goldcorp ( GG) were up 6.3%, 5.7%, 5.5%, 5.1% and 4.8%, respectively, as gold COMEX spot delivery rose 1.6% last week.

Kaiser Aluminum ( KALU) jumped 4.2% after 2010 fourth quarter revenue came in at $266 million vs. forecast $263.2 million. However, the company reported loss of 6 cents per share vs. consensus earnings estimates of 38 cents per share, due to the impact of a valuation adjustment on state tax net operating losses, which increased the effective tax rate in the quarter.

Teck Resources and Southern Copper topped the losers' list, dipping around 6.3% and 4.0%, respectively, backed by a 3.6% rise in LME copper prices for spot delivery.

Among others, Rio Tinto ( RIO), Cloud Peak Energy ( CLD), Haynes International ( HAYN) and Patriot Coal ( PCX) dipped 3.7%, 3.2%, 2.9% and 2.5%, 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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