What happened

Shares of gold and silver (and zinc and lead) miner Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) rose in Tuesday trading, cresting above 10% before closing the day up 9%. You can thank Canaccord Genuity for that.

TheFly.com reports that on Monday, Canaccord Genuity upgraded Hecla Mining stock from hold to buy, and assigned the stock a $3.25-per-share price target.

A gold nugget on a dark background

Hecla's upgrade: Is it gold, or fool's gold? Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Unfortunately, that's all we know. Details of Canaccord's reasoning for upgrading Hecla don't seem to have been made public. All TheFly knows, really, is that the upgrade happened -- not why it happened.

The mere fact that an upgrade happened, however, appears to have been enough to spark a rally in the stock today -- well, the upgrade, and the price target, and the fact that the price target now promises a 17% profit from Hecla's closing share price today.

Now what

If that's enough for investors, then it's entirely possible Hecla stock will keep on rising. On the other hand, if investors start asking why Canaccord is recommending they buy shares of a company with no profits, minimal free cash flow, and a history of having lost money in three (going on four) of the last five years -- well, in that case, I wouldn't be surprised to see Hecla stock move in an entirely different direction.

Check out the latest Hecla Mining earnings call transcript.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.