Commodities & Metals

5 Top Gold Stocks in 2015 Q1

Gold bars
Source: Thinkstock
Over the past 12 months, only one precious metals miner we track has posted a share price increase — and that increase is just 1.4%. The five stocks that have performed worst in the past year are down anywhere between 34% and 58%.

Gold miners were getting batted around a little on Tuesday as the price of gold dropped below $1,180 per ounce on Comex and was on track to finish March with a loss of about 2.5%. And the price of gold rules when it comes to gold miners’ share prices.

The stock posting the largest gain in the first quarter of 2015 is Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM). The stock price has risen more than 16%, even though shares now trade closer to their 52-week low than to the 52-week high, at around $22 in a 52-week range of $17.60 to $27.40. The consensus price target on the stock is $26.03, yielding an implied upside of about 19%. The stock trades nearly 9 million shares a day.

The second-best performing gold stock in the quarter is Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM), which has posted a share price gain of more than 15% in the first quarter of the year. Like Newmont’s stock, Agnico Eagle shares trade closer to their $21.65 low than their $42.41 52-week high, and, also like Newmont, the stock started the year near its low. The consensus target price on the stock is $38.32, which implies upside of nearly 38% from the current price of around $28. The stock’s forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is north of 33.

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The third-best gold mining stock in the first quarter was Randgold Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ: GOLD). Shares have added nearly 8% in the first quarter and traded on Tuesday at around $70. With a consensus price target of $91.99 the implied upside on the stock is about 31%. The stock’s 52-week range is $58.00 to $89.89, and the forward P/E ratio is around 22.

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) is the fourth-best performer in the first quarter. Its shares have added about 4.7% in the quarter and traded at around $11 a share on Tuesday. At the consensus price target of $13.61, Barrick’s shares have a potential gain of about 24%. Barrick trades nearly 18 million shares a day and its forward P/E ratio is the lowest among this group at 13.3.

Hecla Mining Inc. (NYSE: HL) is the first quarter’s fifth-best performing gold miner, with a share price increase 4.9%. The stock’s 52-week range is $2.00 to $3.54, and shares traded on Tuesday at around $3.00. At that current price target of $2.91, Hecla’s stock is fully valued and the forward P/E ratio is nearly 300 (not a typo).

In a review of the gold miners earlier this month we noted that Sterne Agee had listed Agnico Eagle and Newmont as Buy rated and had Barrick and Hecla rated Neutral.

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