Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF): Today's Featured Metals & Mining Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF) pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Cliffs Natural Resources fell $0.42 (-2.0%) to $20.04 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 17,184,278 shares of Cliffs Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,581,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $19.77-$20.70 after having opened the day at $20.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.46. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were: James River Coal Company ( JRCC), down 9.3%, Eurasian Minerals ( EMXX), down 4.6%, Ossen Innovation ( OSN), down 4.2% and Schnitzer Steel Industries ( SCHN), down 3.5%.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., a mining and natural resources company, produces iron ore and metallurgical coal. Cliffs Natural Resources has a market cap of $3.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 21.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Cliffs Natural Resources a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cliffs Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and generally higher debt management risk.

On the positive front, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 30.4%, Tonix Pharmaceuticals ( TNXP), up 11.1%, Tasman Metals ( TAS), up 9.9% and Uranium Resources ( URRE), up 8.7% , were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with Cameco ( CCJ) 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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