AuRico Gold ( AUQ) pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining loser. The industry as a whole closed the day up 2.4%. By the end of trading, AuRico Gold fell 21 cents (-2.3%) to $8.85 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.7 million shares of AuRico Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $8.82-$9.12 after having opened the day at $9.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.06. Other company's within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were: Anooraq Resources Corporation ( ANO), down 8.3%, Entree Gold ( EGI), down 3.1%, China Gerui Advanced Materials Group ( CHOP), down 2.2%, and China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 2.2%.

AuRico Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, development, and production of gold and silver mines and projects in Mexico. The company was formerly known as Gammon Gold, Inc. and changed its name to AuRico Gold Inc. in June, 2011. AuRico Gold has a market cap of $2.65 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.9, above the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 12.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate AuRico Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AuRico as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and compelling growth in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), up 21.4%, Stillwater Mining Company ( SWC), up 10.4%, Polymet Mining ( PLM), up 9.8%, and Noranda Aluminum ( NOR), up 8.5%, were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with Vale S.A ( VALE) being today's featured metals & mining industry winner.

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 ( XME) while those bearish on the metals & mining industry could consider PowerShares DB Base Metals Sht ETN ( BOS).