Great Panther Silver Had a Rough 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, it's a great time to look back at what happened to the stocks that interest you. By making sure you know the important things that a company accomplished -- as well as the setbacks it experienced -- you can make a better decision about whether it's a smart investment for your portfolio.

Today, let's take a look at Great Panther Silver (ASE: GPL) . The miner came into 2011 with a five-year streak of expanding production volume, but unexpectedly low-grade ore hurt its results this year. In addition, the company survived a particularly vicious attack from a blogger that came out against the stock. Below, I'll take a closer look at the events that moved Great Panther's shares this year.

Stats on Great Panther Silver

Year-to-Date Stock Return


Market Cap

$268 million

1-Year Revenue Growth


1-Year Profit Growth


Cash / Debt

$34.5 million / $0

CAPS Rating (out of 5)


Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

Why Great Panther Silver did badly
Great Panther has seen huge success in recent years. With its Guanajuato mine complex right next to fellow miner Endeavour Silver's (NYS: EXK) successful mine, both companies have benefited from rich resources at the site. At the same time, Great Panther bought four concessions in the nearby La Sierra system, where AuRico Gold (NYS: AUQ) has its El Cubo mine.

Over the summer, a blog post made a number of allegations about Great Panther. But as Fool mining expert Christopher Barker explained, most of the claims were untrue. With cash costs in line with some of the low-cost producers in the industry, including Pan American Silver (NAS: PAAS) and First Majestic Silver (NYS: AG) , alongside substantial cash with no debt, the suggestion that Great Panther is a high-cost, high-leverage play seems absurd.

All that said, gold and silver prices are ending 2011 on a particularly low note. Gold has given up much of its gains from earlier in the year, and silver is poised to have its first down year since 2008. With companies throughout the industry relying on high metals prices for their profits, continued weakness could spell trouble for Great Panther going forward -- despite its promising properties.

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Click hereto add Great Panther Silver to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies 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 Fool has a disclosure policy.

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