A study of analyst recommendations at the major brokerages shows that Royal Gold, Inc. (RGLD - Get Report) is the #14 broker analyst pick, on average, out of the 50 stocks making up the Metals Channel Global Mining Titans Index, according to Metals Channel. The Metals Channel Global Mining Titans Index is comprised of the top fifty global leaders from the metals and mining sector. The companies listed in the Metals Channel Global Mining Titans Index are not fixed, but instead variable — updating on a continuous basis to reflect the changing market environment with respect to commodity prices, government policy and market volatility.

In forming this rank, the analyst opinions from the major brokerage houses were tallied, and averaged; then, the underlying components of the Metals Channel Global Mining Titans Index were ranked according to those averages. Investors often interpret analyst opinions from different angles — a popular analyst pick could mean that many sharp minds individually came to the same bullish conclusion, and therefore the stock should do well, but it could also mean that if the company stumbles, that would come as a negative surprise.

Analyst Favorites of the Metals Channel Global Mining Titans Index »

From the other direction, when companies have a low rank among analysts, it isn't necessarily the case that investors should conclude that the stock will perform poorly. It can, of course, but a bullish investor could also take the contrarian angle and read into the data that there is lots of room for upside because the stock is so out of favor.

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, RGLD makes up 5.40% of the SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME) which is trading up by about 1.3% on the day Tuesday.

RGLD operates in the Precious Metals sector, among companies like Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) which is down about 3.9% today, and Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) trading lower by about 2.2%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of RGLD, versus ABX and NEM.

RGLD,ABX,NEM Relative Performance Chart

RGLD is currently trading off about 3.5% midday Tuesday.