Credit Suisse Nicks Price Target on Barrick Gold Corp (USA) (ABX) Amid Negative Headwinds

Barrick Gold Corp (USA) (NYSE:ABX) shares were falling almost 5% yesterday with news of a Tanzanian cyclone heading towards London-listed gold-mining company Acacia (ACA), revealing a $190 billion tax bill has the danger to nip at ACA’s valuation. Credit Suisse analyst Anita Soni sees negative headwinds lashing ahead for Barrick, particularly considering ABX holds 63.9% of ACA. In fact, Acacia comprises of 10% of Barrick’s gold production outlook for 2017 as well as 6% of the analyst’s Net Asset Value (NAV) expectations.

It all points back to Bulyanhlulu, where there is a risk that operations could be suspended by the close of the third quarter, with productivity challenges in the underground mine running amiss. Soni now sees fit to pull her NAV for the stock from $12.77 to $12.63 while also cutting her OpCFa for 2017 and 2018 from $1.12 to $1.06.

Keep in mind that Acacia shares had already taken a roughly 21% hit yesterday following second-quarter earnings delivered last Friday evening. Gold investors will be keeping their eyes peeled to tomorrow after the bell, when ABX is set to deliver its quarterly print. For the second quarter, Soni projects a cent higher for EPS at $0.15, but remains less bullish than consensus at $0.18.

Ahead of the print, though the analyst maintains an Outperform rating on shares of ABX, she dials the price target back from $23 to $22.50, representing a just under 46% increase from current levels. (To watch Soni’s track record, click here.)

Soni elaborates, “We view the update as a negative headwind for ABX due to (i) the details around three new Parliamentary bills introduced by Tanzania in early July that could impact ACA’s value; (ii) ACA is now targeting the lower end of its guidance range due to underground productivity issues at Bulyanhulu; (iii) Bulyanhulu could suspend operations at the end of Q3 in the event the current concentrate export ban remains; and (iv) greater than forecast cash burn at ACA based on inventory build-up and VAT payments (CS now estimates Q2/17 cash of $3.481B for ABX, vs. $3.562B previously).”

“Our forecasts are below consensus as ABX faces Q2 headwinds from (i) Veladero leaching suspension; (ii) KCGM pit wall slip in April; and (iii) ACA concentrate ban. Our EPS estimate increases from $0.14 on ACA results, which include an ~$18M share-based expense recovery (excluding the share-based recovery our EPS estimate would’ve declined to $0.13 on lower ACA sales than prior CS estimate),” contends the analyst.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate ABX as a Buy. Out of 7 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 3 are bullish on Barrick Gold stock while 4 remain sidelined. With a return potential of nearly 29%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $19.90.

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