3 Metals & Mining Stocks Driving 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 19 points (0.1%) at 17,098 as of Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,137 issues advancing vs. 890 declining with 157 unchanged.

The Metals & Mining industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.3%. Top gainers within the Metals & Mining industry included Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), up 5.1%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), up 2.9%, Eurasian Minerals ( EMXX), up 2.7%, Solitario Exploration & Royalty ( XPL), up 3.8% and Exeter Resource ( XRA), up 2.2%.

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

Exeter Resource ( XRA) is one of the companies that pushed the Metals & Mining industry higher today. Exeter Resource was up $0.02 (2.2%) to $0.68 on light volume. Throughout the day, 48,659 shares of Exeter Resource exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 142,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.67-$0.69 after having opened the day at $0.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.67.

Exeter Resource has a market cap of $61.0 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 26.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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At the close, Solitario Exploration & Royalty ( XPL) was up $0.05 (3.8%) to $1.50 on light volume. Throughout the day, 19,833 shares of Solitario Exploration & Royalty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.39-$1.50 after having opened the day at $1.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.45.

Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp., a development stage company, acquires and explores for precious and base metal properties in Peru, Brazil, and Mexico. It primarily explores for gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, lead, and zinc metals. Solitario Exploration & Royalty has a market cap of $56.9 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 70.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Solitario Exploration & Royalty a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Solitario Exploration & Royalty as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on XPL go as follows:

  • The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, SOLITARIO EXPLORATION & RLTY's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Metals & Mining industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 46.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$0.99 million to -$0.53 million.
  • SOLITARIO EXPLORATION & RLTY reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SOLITARIO EXPLORATION & RLTY continued to lose money by earning -$0.06 versus -$0.10 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 33.3% in earnings (-$0.08 versus -$0.06).
  • This stock has increased by 57.29% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the future course of this stock, we feel that the risks involved in investing in XPL do not compensate for any future upside potential, despite the fact that it has seen nice gains over the past 12 months.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Solitario Exploration & Royalty Ratings Report

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

Atlatsa Resources ( ATL) was another company that pushed the Metals & Mining industry higher today. Atlatsa Resources was up $0.01 (2.9%) to $0.35 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,270 shares of Atlatsa Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 47,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.34-$0.35 after having opened the day at $0.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.34.

Atlatsa Resources Corporation mines, explores for, and develops platinum group metals properties in South Africa. The company primarily explores for platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold, copper, and nickel. Atlatsa Resources has a market cap of $190.0 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 40.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Atlatsa Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Atlatsa Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, robust revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ATL go as follows:

  • Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, ATLATSA RESOURCES CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to -$27.73 million or 1.47% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 1.47%, ATLATSA RESOURCES CORP is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -8.77%.
  • The gross profit margin for ATLATSA RESOURCES CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 5.52%. Regardless of ATL's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ATL's net profit margin of -9.05% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Atlatsa Resources Ratings Report

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

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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