Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR) pushed the Metals & Mining industry higher today making it today's featured metals & mining winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Alpha Natural Resources rose 30 cents (4.2%) to $7.48 on average volume. Throughout the day, 18.1 million shares of Alpha Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 23.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $7.17-$7.59 after having opened the day at $7.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.18. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that increased today were: Ossen Innovation ( OSN), up 19.5%, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 12%, Walter Energy ( WLT), up 5.8%, and China Precision Steel ( CPSL), up 5.5%.
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Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in producing, processing, and selling steam and metallurgical coal in the United States. The company has mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Wyoming. Alpha Natural Resources has a market cap of $1.54 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 64.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Alpha Natural Resources a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alpha Natural Resources as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Richmont Mines ( RIC), down 25.1%, Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), down 19.6%, USEC ( USU), down 14%, and Sutor Technology Group ( SUTR), down 9%, were all laggards within the metals & mining industry with Royal Gold ( RGLD) being today's metals & mining industry laggard.

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).

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