3 Metals & Mining Stocks Nudging The Industry Higher

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.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 55 points (0.3%) at 16,707 as of Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,989 issues advancing vs. 996 declining with 174 unchanged.

The Metals & Mining industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.4%. Top gainers within the Metals & Mining industry included Timberline Resources ( TLR), up 5.8%, Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), up 1.8%, Oxford Resource Partners ( OXF), up 5.9%, Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM), up 4.2% and Vista Gold ( VGZ), up 1.7%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM) is one of the companies that pushed the Metals & Mining industry higher today. Quest Rare Minerals was up $0.01 (4.2%) to $0.21 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 562,070 shares of Quest Rare Minerals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 308,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.20-$0.22 after having opened the day at $0.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.20.

Quest Rare Minerals has a market cap of $13.6 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 56.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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At the close, Oxford Resource Partners ( OXF) was up $0.06 (5.9%) to $1.02 on light volume. Throughout the day, 8,114 shares of Oxford Resource Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 35,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.99-$1.02 after having opened the day at $0.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.96.

Oxford Resource Partners, LP produces and markets thermal coal in the United States. The company markets its thermal coal to utilities, industrial customers, municipalities, and other coal-related entities. Oxford Resource Partners has a market cap of $10.2 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 21.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Oxford Resource Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Oxford Resource Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on OXF go as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $4.78 million or 8.44% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has marginally lower results.
  • The gross profit margin for OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP is rather low; currently it is at 18.17%. Regardless of OXF's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, OXF's net profit margin of -3.53% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • OXF's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 56.12%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has improved earnings per share by 47.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, OXFORD RESOURCE PARTNERS LP continued to lose money by earning -$1.07 versus -$1.27 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 14.0% in earnings (-$1.22 versus -$1.07).
  • OXF, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Oxford Resource Partners Ratings Report

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Timberline Resources ( TLR) was another company that pushed the Metals & Mining industry higher today. Timberline Resources was up $0.01 (5.8%) to $0.13 on light volume. Throughout the day, 12,175 shares of Timberline Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 123,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.12-$0.13 after having opened the day at $0.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.12.

Timberline Resources has a market cap of $9.7 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 31.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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.

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