3 Stocks Pushing The Metals & Mining Industry Lower

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The Metals & Mining industry as a whole closed the day down 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.6%. Laggards within the Metals & Mining industry included Minco Gold ( MGH), down 2.5%, Oxford Resource Partners ( OXF), down 6.9%, Solitario Exploration & Royalty ( XPL), down 5.0%, Sutor Technology Group ( SUTR), down 3.5% and Avalon Rare Metals ( AVL), down 5.4%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today:

Sutor Technology Group ( SUTR) is one of the companies that pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today. Sutor Technology Group was down $0.03 (3.5%) to $0.80 on average volume. Throughout the day, 47,557 shares of Sutor Technology Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 59,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.80-$0.83 after having opened the day at $0.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.83.

Sutor Technology Group Limited, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells finished steel products in the People's Republic of China. Sutor Technology Group has a market cap of $33.3 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 54.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Sutor Technology Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SUTR go as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 196.77% to $16.29 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SUTOR TECHNOLOGY GROUP LTD has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -21.40%.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SUTOR TECHNOLOGY GROUP LTD has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for SUTOR TECHNOLOGY GROUP LTD is currently extremely low, coming in at 9.97%. Regardless of SUTR's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SUTR's net profit margin of 1.15% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 71.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $3.88 million to $1.11 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Sutor Technology Group Ratings Report

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At the close, Solitario Exploration & Royalty ( XPL) was down $0.07 (5.0%) to $1.34 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 53,774 shares of Solitario Exploration & Royalty exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 28,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.32-$1.45 after having opened the day at $1.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.41.

Solitario Exploration & Royalty has a market cap of $56.5 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 65.9% 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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Oxford Resource Partners ( OXF) was another company that pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today. Oxford Resource Partners was down $0.07 (6.9%) to $0.93 on light volume. Throughout the day, 15,465 shares of Oxford Resource Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.92-$0.99 after having opened the day at $0.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.00.

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 $9.7 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 18.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Oxford Resource Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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.

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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 55.36%, 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 7.0% in earnings (-$1.15 versus -$1.07).
  • OXF, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.5%. 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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