Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Stillwater Mining Company's Stock Rose 28% in February

By Reuben Gregg Brewer – Mar 14, 2016 at 1:34PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Stillwater headed higher in February. Commodity prices were a big part of it, but so were solid results.

Image source: Stillwater Mining Company.

What: Stillwater Mining Company's (SWC) shares rose a touch over 28% last month. Although a rally in the company's main markets, platinum and palladium, was the big reason for the advance, solid earnings news helped out, too.

So what: As 2016 started, platinum prices were heading lower. But then, at about the middle of January, the metal began to rally, which continued through February and into the early days of March. And it's a big piece of Stillwater's price advance.

However, there's something else that happened, too. On Jan. 19, just about the same time that markets in which Stillwater operates began to turn higher, the miner released an update on its 2015 results. It was pretty good reading.

That set the stage for earnings released on Feb. 22. Although the markets were already primed for what was to come, the final results proved that Stillwater was able to cut costs, invest in its business, and solidify its financial position despite the weak commodity market. In fact, although it lost money for the full year, it was able to turn a small profit in the final quarter. Not bad when the price of the commodity you sell fell nearly 25% year over year.

When you put a rallying commodity market together with solid financials, well, you get a nice price advance. And that's exactly what happened last month.

Now what: Stillwater's February advance wasn't as large as that of some other miners -- specifically those with more troubled operations. And it's important to note that Stillwater isn't a gold miner, so it moves to a slightly different drumbeat. That said, if you're looking for exposure to platinum and palladium, Stillwater is a good option for most investors. Moreover, with the industrial applications for these metals, there could be more reason to favor them over gold over the long term.

Reuben Brewer has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Stillwater Mining Company Stock Quote
Stillwater Mining Company
SWC

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
351%
 
S&P 500 Returns
115%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/30/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.