One thing is certain: April has come in like a lion for the stock markets. In the first 11 trading sessions of the month, there have been 4 day of net-loss trading – and 7 of net-gain, with the gains heavily outweighing the losses. The S&P 500 has gained 11% so far this month, in a classic bear market rally. The gains have prompted some speculation that, for the stock market least, the worst may be over.
But with earnings season around the corner, some analysts are saying that good mood may be too much, too soon.
Mark Mobius, founder of Mobius Capital Partners, points out that reported corporate earnings are going to be grim, after the dislocations of the first quarter. “We might see a double bottom,” he says, referring to the possibility that markets may collapse a second time when earnings come in far below their year-ago levels. With governmental authorities and agencies unsure how, when, or if to reopen economic activity, Mobius says, “I think we have to open up again in some way, because otherwise the collateral damage is going to be incredible.”
All in all, it is not a pretty picture despite a current market uplift. And so, some investors are starting to seek out safe havens, ports to ride out the storm while protecting their funds. The traditional move for investors seeking safety is to gold, a generally reliable store of value. But buying metal is not the only way to get into gold. Investors can also buy stock in gold miners. While this move carries more risk than metal purchases, miners derive their strength in part from the quality of their product – as good as gold. Gold miners offer a lower-cost avenue for investors looking to buy into precious metals.
Bearing this in mind, we used TipRanks’ database to pinpoint three Buy-rated miner stocks that have earned a thumbs up from members of the analyst community. Not to mention each boasts substantial upside potential of over 15%. Let’s take a closer look.
Coeur Mining (CDE)
Chicago-based Coeur Mining holds and operates five major gold and silver mines in North America. Taken together, the company’s mines produced 11.5 million ounces of silver and 359,000 ounces of gold in 2019. In addition, Coeur also extracted 17 million pounds of zinc and 16 million pounds of lead from its British Columbia mine. These numbers make Coeur one of the world’s largest producers of silver.
Earlier this month, the company announced that it will be suspending activity in its Mexican operations, in compliance with Mexican government decrees shutting down non-essential businesses as a measure to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. In its statement Coeur said that, due to general disruption caused by COVID-19, the company’s previously published 2020 guidance is also suspended.
However, 5-star analyst Joseph Reagor of Roth Capital sees CDE as buying opportunity, in part because the shares have been pushed so low. He notes that the silver to gold ratio is likely to improve (tilt more toward gold) over the course of 2020, and writes, “CDE’s share price has seen significant selling pressure over the last two months and the withdrawal of guidance has caused further selling pressure, in our view. We believe this has created a significant value opportunity for investors…”
In line with this view, Reagor has upgraded his stance on CDE from Neutral to Buy. His $5 price target on the stock implies an upside of 16% for 2020. (To watch Reagor’s track record, click here)
Wall Street almost evenly split between the bulls and those choosing to play it safe. Based on 5 analysts tracked in the last 3 months, 3 rate the mining stock a Buy, while 2 suggest Hold. Notably, the 12-month average price target stands at $5.28, marking a 21% in return potential for the stock. (See Coeur Mining stock analysis on TipRanks)
Eldorado Gold (EGO)
In mid-2019, Eldorado Gold switched from running losses to turning profits, and the stock rose that summer from under $5 to nearly $10. EGO shares have been highly volatile in the bear market of the past four weeks, but currently stand at a higher level than when the bear began. Eldorado owns and operates mines in the Balkan Peninsula and Turkey, as well as Quebec and Brazil. The company produces gold, silver, lead, and zinc.
EGO started 2020 in a strong position, after finishing 2019 with an adjusted net income of $20.3 million in the fourth quarter. This gave an EPS of 13 cents, well above the 10-cent forecast. Quarterly revenues were reported at $191.9 million, for 106% year-over-year growth. EGO had reported net losses in both Q4 2018 and Q1 2019 – the Q4 2019 results were a clear turnaround.
Looking ahead, Eldorado has not announced any mine shutdowns due to Coronavirus, and indicates Q1 gold production of 115,949 ounces, in line with expectations. Production is lower than Q1 2019 – this is due, however, to exploitation of lower-grade ores rather than pandemic issues. The company will release full Q1 earnings at the end of this month.
National Bank of Canada analyst Mike Parkin reads the Q1 preliminaries as a reason to buy this stock. He writes, “The quarter came in soft to our estimates and proved modestly lighter Q/Q, however we are not concerned with the results and would be buyers on any weakness as valuation currently is attractive in our view.”
Parkin backs his stance with a Buy rating and a price target of C$15.50 (US$11.06), which suggests an upside of 33% for the stock. (To watch Parkin’s track record, click here)
EGO shares are selling for US$8.87, and the average price target of US$$11.29 suggests that the stock has a 27% upside potential in the next 12 months. The analyst consensus rating, a Moderate Buy, is based on 4 Buy ratings, 2 Holds, and 1 Sell. (See Eldorado stock analysis on TipRanks)
Kirkland Lake Gold (KL)
With a market cap of $11 billion, Kirkland is the largest of the gold miners on this list. The company operates six mines in Canada and Australia, and produced over 974,000 ounces of gold last year. 2020 production is targeted at 1.5 million ounces, with the proposed increase reflecting the quality of ore exploited in the company’s mines. Closing out 2019, Kirkland saw revenue of $1.38 billion, adjusted net earnings of $2.74 per share, and an 81% increase in free cash flow to $463 million.
Kirkland is committed to returning profits to shareholders, and raised its dividend twice last year. The first increase bumped the payment from 3 cents in Q2 to 4 cents in Q3, while the second raised it to 6 cents in Q4. Looking forward, KL has announced another increase to the dividend, to 12.5 cents in Q1 2020. The company has a 3-year history of steady dividend growth, and the 14% payout ratio shows that there is plenty of room for more increases. At current levels, the dividend yield is 1.45%. While lower than the average dividend in the broader market, the company’s profitability, track record of dividend increases, and low payout ratio make it attractive.
5 star Stifel analyst Ian Parkinson believes this is a stock worth holding on to. Parkinson rates KL shares a Buy, and his CA$63.00 (US$44.77) price target suggests a solid upside potential of 23%. (To watch Parkinson’s track record, click here)
Parkinson commented, “Despite the logistical issues surrounding the COVID-19 situation, Detour Lake was able to largely perform to expectations in its first two months post-acquisition. Management still expects to carry out an extensive drill program at Detour through 2020. Fosterville production remained in line based on continued elevated grade; Macassa was the only laggard. Q1 performance was slightly behind our original expectations and Q2 will feel major impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The asset quality coupled with strong gold prices particularly in local currency ensure KL is well positioned to emerge from the current health crisis and deliver substantial returns for shareholders.”
All in all, when looking at Wall Street’s stance, Parkinson is not the only bull, as TipRanks analytics showcase Kirkland as a Buy. Out of 11 analysts tracked in the last 3 months, 8 rate the stock a Buy, while 3 remain sidelined. The 12-month average price target stands at US$40.92 marking nearly 12% upside from where the stock is currently trading. (See Kirkland Lake stock analysis at TipRanks)
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