Analyst Favorites: Rio Tinto Ranks As a Top Metals Pick

A study of analyst recommendations at the major brokerages shows that Rio Tinto plc (RIO) is the #25 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.

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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, RIO makes up 12.48% of the Steel ETF (SLX) which is trading higher by about 0.8% on the day Thursday.

RIO operates in the Metals & Mining sector, among companies like Vulcan Materials Co (VMC) which is off about 1.8% today, and Teck Resources Ltd (TCK) trading up by about 0.8%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of RIO, versus VMC and TCK.

RIO,VMC,TCK Relative Performance Chart

RIO is currently trading up about 1% midday Thursday.

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