The Metals & Mining industry as a whole closed the day down 3.6% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.2%. Laggards within the Metals & Mining industry included Timberline Resources ( TLR), down 6.7%, Sutor Technology Group ( TOR), down 3.1%, Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), down 2.1%, Tasman Metals ( TAS), down 6.2% and China Natural Resources ( CHNR), down 3.2%.

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

POSCO ( PKX) is one of the companies that pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today. POSCO was down $1.27 (3.1%) to $39.26 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 837,195 shares of POSCO exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 369,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $38.92-$40.27 after having opened the day at $40.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.53.

POSCO manufactures and sells steel rolled products and plates in South Korea. Its Steel segment offers cold rolled and hot rolled products, plates, wire rods, silicon steel sheets, and stainless steel products; and pig iron, billets, blooms, and slabs. POSCO has a market cap of $12.9 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 36.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate POSCO a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates POSCO as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its very decent return on equity which we feel should persist. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PKX go as follows:

  • PKX, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 16.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 22.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • POSCO has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, POSCO reported lower earnings of $1.72 versus $4.12 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.79 versus $1.72).
  • 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 65.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $508.75 million to $174.95 million.
  • The gross profit margin for POSCO is currently extremely low, coming in at 11.33%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 1.29% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 47.24%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 66.87% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.

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

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At the close, Tasman Metals ( TAS) was down $0.02 (6.2%) to $0.30 on light volume. Throughout the day, 22,200 shares of Tasman Metals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 55,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.30-$0.32 after having opened the day at $0.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.32.

Tasman Metals has a market cap of $20.2 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 22.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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Timberline Resources ( TLR) was another company that pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today. Timberline Resources was down $0.03 (6.7%) to $0.42 on average volume. Throughout the day, 13,251 shares of Timberline Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.42-$0.44 after having opened the day at $0.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.45.

Timberline Resources has a market cap of $5.0 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 23.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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