Commodities & Metals

Oppenheimer Has Gold Miners as a Top Trade Idea

Lee Jackson

If any asset class has disappointed investors over the last three years, it has been gold. Many on Wall Street are just now starting to reexamine gold for investors’ portfolios. Years of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve and other central banks have started to accomplish their goal of re-inflating economies. The problem is they may have reinflated too much, and inflationary pressures could already exist — ask any person who has shopped for meat and groceries these days.

The technical team at Oppenheimer sees big upside in gold miners going forward, and analysts are actually more bullish on the miners than the precious metal itself. In their new report, Oppenheimer analysts cite an exchange traded fund (ETF) and three top stocks to buy in the gold mining arena.

Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE: GG) is preferred not only by Oppenheimer. Many Wall Street firms believe the miner has the ability to pursue an acquisition to refill its longer-term project pipeline. The company operates as a gold producer involved in the exploration, development and acquisition of metal properties in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. Over the past years, Goldcorp has been altering its mine plans, cutting spending and disposing assets in order to reduce costs and focus on the most profitable production. Now those efforts have begun paying off. Investors are paid a 2.2% dividend. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $31.33. Shares closed Monday at $28.25.

Randgold Resources Limited (NASDAQ: GOLD) is another one of the top mid-cap gold mining leaders. The company had another record production quarter from its flagship Loulo-Gounkoto complex in Mali. This increased production has set Randgold Resources up the halfway mark to achieve its guidance for the year. At the same time, the developing Kibali mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo remained on track to reach its forecast target despite commissioning disruptions. Although overall production for the quarter was slightly down to 277,283 ounces from the record first quarter numbers, the mining profit of $162.3 million was up 54% from the same quarter last year. Investors are paid a 0.6% dividend. The consensus price target for the stock is $93.24. Shares closed trading Monday at $85.49.

Royal Gold Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD) is another top gold outfit that makes the Oppenheimer list. The company is a precious metals royalty company engaged in the acquisition and management of precious metal royalties and similar interests. Royal Gold’s portfolio consists of 202 properties on six continents, including interests on 36 producing mines and 21 development stage projects. Investors are paid a 1.1% dividend. The consensus price target is set at $85.03. Royal closed Monday at $79.67.

Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT: GDX) is the top Oppenheimer technical play on the gold miners. This is the ultimate diversified way for investors to be involved in the gold mining trade. The ETF holds 40 different mining stocks, ranging from large-cap companies that are industry leaders, to small-cap emerging growth stocks. The ETF has a reasonable 0.54% expense ratio, and shareholders can also trade options. Investors are paid a small 0.70% dividend. The Oppenheimer team sees price upside to $38. The ETF closed trading Monday at $26.97. Trading up to the target level would provide a 41% gain for investors. Oppenheimer suggests a $24 stop-loss on the trade.

The Oppenheimer team continues to believe that the GDX has a stronger floor and offers more upside opportunity than the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEMKT: GLD). After many years of underperforming the straight physical holdings ETF, the miners may be ready to make a move that can make investors solid money. While a long-term position in a small gold allocation makes sense for conservative investors, these trade ideas are suited for aggressive accounts with a higher risk tolerance.