Monday, November 1, 2010

Rare Earth: JP Morgan Says "Hold" on Molycorp (MCP)

A fair call. It would have been more pertinent to point out the move since the July 29 IPO at $14.00.
You could have had all you wanted in the $13 range as the stock closed its first day down 8%.
In pre-market action the stock is off 27 cents at $35.13. It traded as high as $40.90 last week.

From Barron's Stocks to Watch Today:
As my colleague Murray Coleman related yesterday on the Barron’s Focus on Funds blog, news that China was prepared to end its embargo on shipments of rare-earth minerals to the U.S. had a pretty extreme effect on both exchange-traded funds and stocks of companies hoping to capitalize on the rush to get those minerals from sources other than China.

In particular, Molycorp (MCP), which owns a rare-earth minerals mine in San Bernardino County that is billed as the biggest rare-earth deposit in the Western world, fell 10% yesterday. Today, the stock closed up $1.51, or 5%, at $35.40.

However, in a note to clients today, JP Morgan analyst Michael Gambardella cut his rating on Molycorp stock to Neutral from Overweight, joking that while rare-earth minerals are indeed rare, they are not “Unobtanium,” the mineral at the heart of the movie Avatar.

A couple of things give Gambardella pause. While he believes rare-earth mineral prices will continue to rise because of strong demand (they’re used in a range of newfangled technoloies, including iPods), some investors may be overestimating how tight supply will be....MORE