Commodities & Metals

Gold and Silver Outlook for 2015

Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE: GG) shares have dropped 17% in the past 12 months. The company pays a dividend of $0.15 quarterly, for a dividend yield of 3%, the best of the three gold miners featured here. There are two times that mining companies look for acquisitions and mergers: when business is good and when it is bad. Goldcorp held off making a major acquisition three years ago and earlier this year bowed out of an auction that it started when the price got too rich. That discipline has helped the company keep its shareholders relatively happy, even though the share price has yet to find a floor.

Stock in Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) is down about 24% in the past 12 months, and the company’s paltry 0.5% dividend yield has not helped it keep shareholders’ interest. Newmont did not play heavily in the acquisition round when prices were high, but neither has it been able to boost its production. A possible merger with Barrick did not get beyond the discussion stage.

ALSO READ: The 10 Safest High-Yield Dividends

Which brings us to Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX), which has lost 38% off its stock price in the past 12 months. The company’s dividend yield is 1.7%, which should count as something of a miracle after the company wrote down $4.2 billion in 2013. The firm’s operating loss in 2013 totaled $8.8 billion. In early November, an analyst at J.P. Morgan recommended a pair trade: buy Newmont and sell Barrick, thinking that the merger between the two would come back with Barrick as the acquirer. Stranger things have happened.

Coeur Mining Inc. (NYSE: CDE), primarily a silver miner, has seen its shares drop 56% in the past 12 months. The company pays no dividend, so it gets no help there either. Coeur has posted an earnings per share loss in each of the past four quarters, and that is not expected to turn around. The expected loss in the next fiscal year is more than the consensus estimate for this year. The situation doesn’t look like it will improve, given the expectation for stagnant silver prices.

Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE: SLW) is the best performer among these five companies. The silver streaming firm has lost just 5% in the past 12 months, and over the past five years the shares are up 26%, compared with losses ranging from 56% for Goldcorp to 75% for Coeur. As a royalty/streaming company, Silver Wheaton is in a better position than a pure-play miner when the commodity price is being squeezed. The company also pays a dividend yield of 1.1%.

ALSO READ: Offshore Drilling Outlook for 2015

One final note on the miners: the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT: GDX) is down 16% over the past 12 months and the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEMKT: SLV) is down nearly 20%.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.