Now that 2012 is nearing its end, it's a good opportunity to look at what happened throughout the year to the stocks you follow. If you know the important things that a company achieved, as well as any challenges it failed to overcome, then you can make a better decision about whether it really deserves a spot in your portfolio.

Today, I'll look at Joy Global (NYSE:JOY). As a major player in the mining equipment industry, Joy Global has enjoyed some impressive gains in recent years as expansion around the world has increased demand for natural resources. More recently, though, the global economy has slowed down, and Joy Global has paid the price. Below, you'll find more on what moved shares of Joy Global this year.

Stats on Joy Global

Year-to-date stock return


Market cap

$5.88 billion

1-year revenue growth


1-year net income growth


Dividend yield


CAPS rating


Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Why has Joy Global fallen this year?
Joy Global specializes in mining equipment for both underground and surface operations. More than two-thirds of its sales come from mining companies that focus on coal. That goes a long way toward explaining the equipment-maker's woes, as the coal industry has been near rock-bottom for much of the year in light of very low natural gas prices that have spurred electric utilities to switch from coal- to gas-fired plants. Rival Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) has also had to cut forecasts because of slowing growth that is hurting demand.

Yet even with adverse conditions in the industry, Joy Global also faces new competition. General Electric (NYSE:GE) has made a foray into mining equipment, having acquired both Fairchild International and Industrea in preparation for a stronger push into the business over the next four years. Moreover, although Terex (NYSE:TEX) and Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW) have more of a construction-oriented bent to their respective businesses, both act as barriers to Joy Global freely diversifying beyond mining equipment to related areas with more immediate growth potential.

Low prices for coal and other mined commodities are behind Joy Global's terrible performance. But with new signs of life coming from emerging markets, increased demand could finally help those mined products hit bottom, making now a strong time to consider adding Joy Global to your portfolio.

Click here to add Joy Global to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

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.