NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Hecla Mining (HL - Get Report) are plummeting, sharply down 10.42% to $2.96 on heavy volume in afternoon trading Friday as metals, including silver, trade in the red.
Silver for April delivery was falling 1.81% to $15.87 an ounce as of 3:06 p.m. ET today on the COMEX. Similarly, spot silver is down 1.92% to $15.85 as of 3:22 p.m. ET.
Silver prices were falling on a surging dollar, as Interactive Brokers chief market analyst Andrew Wilkinson says the stronger dollar is "hampering any recovery in commodities."
Gold prices are also trading lower today following the release of the better-than-expected U.S. non-farm payrolls, which is fueling speculation that the Federal Reserve will raise rates sooner rather than later, according to Reuters.
"The surge in treasury yields across the curve in conjunction with a jump in the value of the dollar provides a perfect storm for gold prices, which had surged by as much as 10.5% for the year through mid-February," he explained.
About 6.45 million shares of Hecla have exchanged hands as of 3:20 p.m. ET today, compared to its average trading volume of about 5.88 million shares a day.
Hecla Mining is a low-cost U.S. silver producer with operating mines in Alaska, Idaho and Quebec, Canada.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates HECLA MINING CO as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate HECLA MINING CO (HL) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed, some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- HL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- 43.51% is the gross profit margin for HECLA MINING CO which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 13.85% is above that of the industry average.
- Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 2.69 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.
- 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, HECLA MINING CO underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
- In its most recent trading session, HL has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: HL Ratings Report