Molycorp Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: After a previous pop yesterday, shares of Molycorp (NYSE: MCP  ) soared more than 11% again today, after Chinese officials discussed plans to reduced exports of rare-earth metals. Unnamed officials quoted by the China Daily said exports could decline by as much as 30%.

So What: Molycorp is one of the few companies outside China that's mining rare earth oxides, which are used to create batteries, certain ceramics, and lasers. Its customer list includes Albemarle (NYSE: ALB  ) and W.R. Grace (NYSE: GRA  ) . If China cuts production as promised, development-stage Molycorp could see significant outside investment in order to restart production at its primary mine in Mountain Pass, Calif.

Now What: Molycorp is virtually the prototype for what we call an informed speculation. If you choose to invest, do so knowing that, like a biotech, the company will need plenty of funding to build a sustainable business. And even then, there are no guarantees.

Interested in more info on Molycorp? Add it to your watchlist.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is at least 10% better than other disclosure policies.


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