Financial Review: Stillwater Mining (SWC) and Hecla Mining (HL)

Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) and Stillwater Mining (NYSE:SWC) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk, profitabiliy, earnings and institutional ownership.

Dividends

Hecla Mining pays an annual dividend of $0.01 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.2%. Stillwater Mining does not pay a dividend. Hecla Mining pays out 4.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Hecla Mining and Stillwater Mining, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Hecla Mining 0 4 3 0 2.43
Stillwater Mining 0 2 1 0 2.33

Hecla Mining presently has a consensus target price of $6.94, suggesting a potential upside of 28.95%. Stillwater Mining has a consensus target price of $18.67, suggesting a potential upside of 3.70%. Given Hecla Mining’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Hecla Mining is more favorable than Stillwater Mining.

Risk and Volatility

Hecla Mining has a beta of 0.43, indicating that its stock price is 57% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Stillwater Mining has a beta of 1.59, indicating that its stock price is 59% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

57.5% of Hecla Mining shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.3% of Stillwater Mining shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.8% of Hecla Mining shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.2% of Stillwater Mining shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Hecla Mining and Stillwater Mining’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Hecla Mining 14.75% 5.45% 3.38%
Stillwater Mining 2.80% 2.63% 1.83%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Hecla Mining and Stillwater Mining’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Hecla Mining $657.48 million 3.24 $244.63 million $0.25 21.52
Stillwater Mining N/A N/A N/A $0.07 257.14

Hecla Mining has higher revenue and earnings than Stillwater Mining. Hecla Mining is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Stillwater Mining, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Hecla Mining beats Stillwater Mining on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Hecla Mining Company Profile

Hecla Mining Company is engaged in discovering, acquiring, developing and producing silver, gold, lead and zinc. The Company and its subsidiaries provide precious and base metals to the United States and around the world. It produces lead, zinc and bulk concentrates, which it markets to custom smelters and brokers, and unrefined bullion bars (dore) containing gold and silver. Its segments include the Greens Creek, Lucky Friday, Casa Berardi and San Sebastian units. It is focused on its San Sebastian project; North Idaho’s Silver Valley; Greens Creek unit on Alaska’s Admiralty Island; the silver-producing district near Durango, Mexico; the Abitibi region of north-western Quebec, Canada; the Rock Creek and Montanore projects in northwestern Montana and the Creede district of Southwestern Colorado. It produces zinc, lead and bulk flotation concentrates at its Greens Creek unit and lead and zinc flotation concentrates at its Lucky Friday unit.

Stillwater Mining Company Profile

Stillwater Mining Company is engaged in the development, extraction, processing, smelting and refining of palladium, platinum and associated metals (platinum group metals (PGMs)) produced by mining a geological formation in south-central Montana, known as the J-M Reef. The Company operates through five segments: Mine Production, PGM Recycling, Canadian Properties, South American Properties and All Other. The Company is engaged in recycling spent catalytic converters and other industrial sources. The Company is also engaged in expanding its mining development along the J-M Reef, and holds exploration-stage properties at the Marathon PGM copper property, adjacent to Lake Superior in northern Ontario, Canada (Marathon), and at the Altar copper-gold property in San Juan province, Argentina. In addition to palladium and platinum, the Company’s operations produce associated by-product metals, including nickel, copper and minor amounts of gold, silver and rhodium.

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