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By Bert Wilkison

Below is a list of five NYSE-exchange traded metals mining, manufacturing and distributing companies that are up big on the year and certainly worth a look.

1. Noranda Aluminum (NYSE:NOR)

Price Change Year-To-Date: 30.06%

Noranda claims to be the largest foil producer in North America and a major producer of light gauge sheet product. It states that every year, it produces over 263,000 metric tons of primary aluminum and it is involved in every aspect of the Aluminum industry, from technology, mining, refining, smelting, fabricating to recycling.

Its stock currently trades around $11.17 with 67.23M shares out, giving it a market cap of $751.65M. Institutional ownership comes in around 100% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 1.05M shares. The consensus analyst 12-month price target is $12.75, with the highest estimate being $18. It also initiated a small dividend late last year.

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2. Metals USA Holdings Corp. (NYSE:MUSA)

Price Change Year-To-Date: 22.22%

Metals USA Holdings is a provider of processed carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, red metals, manufactured metal components and inventory management services. It operates in three business segments: Plates and Shapes Group, Flat Rolled and Non-Ferrous Group, and Building Products Group.

Its stock currently trades around $13.80 with just 37.06M shares out, giving it a market cap of $513.26M. Institutional ownership stands at 97% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 500,000 shares. The consensus analyst 12-month price target is $20, with the highest estimate being $21.

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3. Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE:MCP)

Price Change Year-To-Date: 21.81%

Molycorp, Inc. is the only rare earth oxide producer in the Western Hemisphere. It owns and operates the world's largest, most fully developed rare earth mine and oxide manufacturing facility outside of China, located in Mountain Pass, California.

Its stock currently trades around $30 with 83.90M shares out, giving it a market cap of $2.52B. Institutional ownership stands at about 80% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 17.30M shares. The consensus analyst 12-month price target is $50, with the highest estimate being $90.

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4. A. M. Castle & Co. (NYSE:CAS)

Price Change Year-To-Date: 17.97%

A. M. Castle & Co. is a specialty metals and plastics distribution company that provides a range of products, and value-added processing and supply chain services to an array of customers, principally within the producer durable equipment, oil and gas, commercial aircraft, heavy industrial equipment, industrial goods, construction equipment, retail, marine and automotive sectors of the global economy.

Its stock currently trades around $11.60 with just 23.04M shares out, giving it a market cap of $267.78M. Institutional ownership stands at 65% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 2.38M shares. The consensus analyst 12-month price target is $17, with the highest estimate being $22.

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5. Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE:RS)

Price Change Year-To-Date: 12.28%

Reliance Steel & Aluminum claims to be the largest metals service center company in North America. It boasts a network of more than 200 locations in 38 states, Belgium, Canada, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea and the United Kingdom, and it provides value-added metals processing services and distributes a full line of more than 100,000 metal products.

Its stock currently trades around $56 with 74.97M shares out, giving it a market cap of $4.21B. Institutional ownership stands at 78% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 1.58M shares. The consensus analyst 12-month price target is $62, with the highest estimate being $70. It also pays a small dividend.

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Source: 5 Metals Stocks Performing Well And Worth A Look