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Rolls of aluminum are cooled before being cut to order size (Daniel R. Patmore/Associated Press)
Rolls of aluminum are cooled before being cut to order size (Daniel R. Patmore/Associated Press)

TheStreet.com

Seven miserable international mining stocks to avoid Add to ...

Gold prices continue to push higher, setting a new all-time high. Silver also has set a 30-year high, and precious metals across the board seem to be lifting mining stocks. Right? Wrong. There are a number of miners that gold prices haven't been able to prop up, as you can see by poor earnings and recent stock prices. What's more, many miners that also dig for conventional metals like aluminum and copper have been brutalized by the economic downturn. As manufacturing has slowed to a crawl, demand for these metals has dried up too.

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Here are seven metal and mining stocks investors should avoid no matter how high gold prices go.

ArcelorMittal is a global steel producer based in Luxembourg. This metal stock operates in 20 countries on four continents, with 47 per cent of its steel produced in Europe and 35 per cent produced in the Americas. 2010 has been very unkind to ArcelorMittal, as the stock has dropped 28 per cent compared to small gains by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500. Over the past 12 months, MT has lost 19.1 per cent. Trading at $32.66 (U.S.), MT stock is far below its 52-week high of $49.41. If you haven't already dropped this struggling metal stock, now is the time to do so.

Nucor is a producer of steel and steel products that operates in three business segments: steel mills, steel products and raw materials. This metal stock is also very active in recycling, and reported the recycling of approximately 13.4 million tons of scrap steel in 2009. Looking past its recycling habits, Nucor's stock has been unsavory for shareholders as of late. Since January, NUE's stock has seen a decline of 17.1 per cent. The past 12 months have been even worse for Nucor, as the stock has slid 22.4 per cent in that time. Nucor is trading just above its 52-week low of $35.71 with a current stock price of $38.66.

Another metal stock worth selling is Sterlite Industries . Located in India, Sterlite works primarily with aluminum, copper, zinc and lead, as well as commercial energy. Its subsidiary deals extensively with zinc metal, cadmium, silver and sulphuric acid. Despite its diversified "product line," Sterlite has seen a decline of 18 per cent in 2010. SLT has not fared well over the past year either, having dropped 5.1 per cent since last September. Having peaked in January with a stock price of $19.91, Sterlite now trades at $14.91.

Based in Toronto, Kinross Gold deals primarily with gold mining. It is also involved in the exploration and acquisition of gold-bearing properties, as well as the extraction and processing of gold-containing ore. While KGC stock is up slightly for 2010, or 0.8 per cent, the metal stock is down a dramatic 18.9 per cent over the past 12 months. Additionally, Kinross has only exceeded earnings estimate one out of the last four quarters. While the stock may be up slightly on the year, it is not far removed from its 52-week low of $14.84 that it hit in late August.

Based in Beijing, Aluminum Corp. of China is involved with bauxite mining, alumina refining, primary aluminum smelting and aluminum fabrication. Times have been tough for ACH lately, as the aluminum producer has watched its stock fade 20.6 per cent since January and 28.6 per cent since last September. Things have been a nightmare for ACH since October 2007, when the stock peaked at $79.58. Since then the metal stock has plummeted 69.1 per cent to its current price of $21.65. A profit margin of -2.5 per cent in its last financial statement is nothing to write home about either.

Alcoa is an aluminum producer whose products are used in the production of aircraft, automobiles, commercial transportation, packaging, construction, defense and industrial applications. Alcoa is based in Pittsburgh and operates in 31 countries. This metal stock dropped 30.7 per cent in 2010, compared with the broader markets, which are up slightly. It's tough for shareholders to remember the last good news they received from Alcoa, as the stock has plummeted 73.2 per cent since reaching a peak of over $47 in July 2007. If you haven't dumped this stock already, do so now.

Yamana Gold is a Canadian-based gold producer engaged in the exploration, extraction, processing and reclamation of gold. Yamana operates primarily in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico. In 2010, this gold producer's stock dropped 4.8 per cent compared to small gains by the broader markets. More telling is the fact that the stock has dropped 21.9 per cent since the beginning of December 2009. Then, the stock was trading at $14.07. Currently, Yamana Gold stock price is $10.83. Additionally, AUY has missed four consecutive earnings estimates, making it a gold stock worth selling.

 
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