NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Hecla Mining (HL - Get Report) were gaining 2.3% to $3.34 Wednesday after the mining company announced the discovery of high-grade near-surface resources at its San Sebastian property in Durango, Mexico.

Hecla said the new East Francine Vein has an inaugural silver equivalent resource of 4.5 million ounces at an average grade of 0.22 ounces of gold a ton and 64.1 ounces of silver a ton. The vein has an inferred resource of 2.6 million ounces at an average grade of 0.2 ounces of gold a ton and 18.5 ounces of silver a ton.

"This year's discovery of the East Francine Vein, with indicated resources grading 81 oz/ton AgEq, when combined with the North and Middle Veins, provides San Sebastian with near-surface, high-quality resources," Hecla president and CEO Phillips S. Baker, Jr. said in a statement.

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Baker continued, "We believe we are still in the early stages of discovery with most veins open along strike and at depth, and are focusing on further exploration and engineering to quickly return San Sebastian to production."

TheStreet Ratings team rates HECLA MINING CO as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HECLA MINING CO (HL) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • HL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.44% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • 35.81% is the gross profit margin for HECLA MINING CO which we consider to be strong. Regardless of HL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HL's net profit margin of 2.71% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, HECLA MINING CO's return on equity has significantly outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • HECLA MINING CO reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HECLA MINING CO swung to a loss, reporting -$0.08 versus $0.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.03 versus -$0.08).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income increased by 143.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$8.46 million to $3.68 million.