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 lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Alpha Natural Resources fell 13 cents (-1.5%) to $8.73 on average volume. Throughout the day, 14.4 million shares of Alpha Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 16.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $8.70-$9.06 after having opened the day at $8.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $8.86. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were: China Natural Resources ( CHNR), down 7.9%, China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources ( SHZ), down 6%, Rhino Resource Partners ( RNO), down 5.6%, and Silver Bull Resources ( SVBL), down 5%.
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

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 $1.9 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 11.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Alpha Natural Resources a buy, two analysts rate 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 positive front, Alexco Resource ( AXU), up 9.9%, Comstock Mining ( LODE), up 9.9%, Denison Mines Corporation ( DNN), up 8.9%, and Augusta Resource Corporation ( AZC), up 7.3%, were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with ArcelorMittal ( MT) being today's featured metals & mining industry leader.

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).

It's Official: Action Alerts PLUS beats the S&P 500 with Dividends Reinvested! Cramer and Link were up 16.72% in 2012. Were you? See what they are trading for 14-days FREE.