Is your portfolio as good as gold? The precious metal has gained in price this year, as the coronavirus epidemic hit economies hard and investors went seeking a safe store of value. Gold, of course, is the traditional financial safe haven, and the price rose above $1,600 per ounce this month. It showed a deep dip in last week’s market crash, but rose again sharply in yesterday’s general market rally. The Comex price is now $1,650.
Of course, precious metals are not the only investment. We may be in a bear market, and COVID-19 may have shuttered large sections of the economy, but many investors still want to stay in stocks. That was clear from this week’s surge, when the S&P 500 gained 16%. The rally has raised a question, though – where to invest?
This is where TipRanks comes to the rescue. Using an array of accurate, updated market data, along with the tools to search the database, investors can find the right answer to that question. To get the process started, we’ve pulled up three stocks that deserve a second look.
All three are gold miners – because simply buying metal is not the only way to invest in gold. These companies offer investors a way to tie their fortunes to the metal by getting into the gold industry at the source. The mining companies offer a unique combination of traits: an especially low cost of entry, a Buy rating, and a pronounced upside potential, in excess of 35%.
In a report for H.C. Wainwright, analyst Heiko Ihle lays out the prospects for each of these companies, and several others. Ihle takes into account current conditions, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on operations. Let’s take a closer look:
Golden Star Resources (GSS)
First on our list is a Canadian-based company with operations in the African nation of Ghana. Golden Star has two mines, Wassa and Prestea, in the southwestern area of Ghana. The mines production last year reached 203,800 ounces, in the upper end of the company’s guidance, at a price per ounce ranging from $560 to $1,000. The lowest market price for gold last year was approximately $1,300 per ounce, making the Golden Star innately profitable.
That was borne out by the company’s quarterly reports through the year. GSS returned positive EPS each quarter in 2019. In Q4, the company reported 52,700 ounces production, 8% higher year-over-year. For the full year, GSS showed cash flow of $22.8 million, nearly triple the 2018 figure, and finished the year with $53.4 million cash on hand.
Golden Star also has an active exploration program, with a $13.4 million budget. The company’s exploration operations aim to expand the current mining areas, rather than open new ones.
In his comments on GSS, Ihle states his belief that the company is undervalued, after falling 36% in recent months. He goes on to say, “We … highlight the firm’s large cash and cash equivalent position of $53.4M, which is roughly 22% of the company’s current market cap. While Golden Star has endured some operational hardships over the past year, we nonetheless believe that management is taking the necessary steps to improve future performance at its sites through the reduction of mining costs and thereby ultimately drive returns…”
As a result, Ihle reiterates a Buy rating on GSS shares, while his $4.70 price target suggest a strong upside of 73%. (To watch Ihle’s track record, click here)
GSS has an even split between Buys and Holds, with two of each, giving the stock a Moderate Buy rating from the analyst consensus. Shares are priced in the penny range, at $2.58, and the average price target of $3.86 implies room for a 50% upside growth potential. (See Golden Star’s price targets at TipRanks)
Asanko Gold (AKG)
This is another Canadian-based company. With its large natural resources, Canada has a great deal of mining experience, and it is not unusual for Canadian mining companies to operate overseas. Asanko, like GSS above, has active mines in Ghana, along with nearly 4.8 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves in its areas of operations.
The most recent fiscal quarter, Q4 2019, was good for AKG, as the company reported record quarterly production of 66,112 ounces at a cost well below the market price per ounce. The company sold 66,095 ounces of gold during the same period, generating $96.8 million in revenues. For the full year, AKG total production was 251,044, also a record, and sales of 248,862 ounces, at an average price of $1,376 per ounce, generated record sales revenue of $342.4 million.
Looking ahead, Asanko guides toward 225,000 to 245,000 ounces in total production for 2020, slightly lower than this past year. The company is setting aside an exploration budget of $10 million.
Ihle believes that AKG is another highly undervalued stock. In his comments, he points out the company’s solid foundation for further growth: “…the mine is expected to produce 2.1M oz of gold over an expected 10-year mine life. We further highlight steady cash flow from the site, which should permit the firm to pursue additional cost reductions through investment, while allowing for regional exploration of Asanko’s 21,000 hectare land package.”
With a large reserve of recoverable gold available underground, and the resources available to exploit it, AKG gets a Buy rating from Ihle. The analyst sets a $2.40 price target, indicative of a 173% upside potential. (To watch Ihle’s track record, click here)
At just 87 cents per share, AKG is a true penny stock. But it may be a gold mine for investors, as the average price target of $2.14 suggests room for a sky-high 146% upside in the coming 12 months. AKG has 2 recent analyst reviews, and both are Buy-side, giving the stock a Moderate Buy consensus rating. (See Asanko’s stock-price forecast at TipRanks)
Gold Resource Corporation (GORO)
For our last gold penny stock, we move to the Americas. Gold Resource, based in Colorado Springs, has active mines in Mexico’s Oaxaca state, in the southern part of the country, as well as the US state of Nevada, which has long been known for precious metal production and is even nicknamed the ‘Silver State.’
GORO’s active mines gave record production in 2019, putting out a total of 40,318 ounces of gold and 1,732,604 ounces of silver for the full year. The bulk of that production came from Oaxaca; the Nevada operations are not yet at full development. GORO’s net sales in 2019 totaled $135.4 million, and brought in $5.8 million in net income, for an EPS of 9 cents. It was the company’s ninth consecutive profitable year.
During 2019, GORO returned $113 million to shareholders through its dividend. The company pays out 4 cents per share monthly, making the yield a modest 1.41%. The payout ratio, however, is also low, at just 9.6%, showing that GORO can easily sustain the dividend and increase it at current income levels.
Looking ahead, GORO clearly expects income levels to remain intact. The company guides toward 2020 production of 54,000 gold ounces and 1,700,000 silver ounces, with a plus/minus of 10%. This is in-line with achieved 2019 production.
Heiko Ihle is bullish on GORO, as seen in his Buy rating and $8 price target. That target implies an upside for the stock of 170%. (To watch Ihle’s track record, click here)
Commenting on GORO, Ihle wrote, “…shares continue to be undervalued despite maintaining two strong precious metal operations in top tier mining jurisdictions. Additionally, the firm continues to enhance both its Nevada and Oaxaca operations through successful exploration drilling at site.”
GORO stock has a Moderate Buy rating from the analyst consensus, with both of the recent reviews rating the stock as a Buy proposition. GORO shares are selling for $2.96, and the average price target of $7.38 indicates that there may be room here for 148% upside share appreciation. (See Gold Resource’s analyst ratings at TipRanks)