Commodities & Metals

Analysts Making Key Changes in Gold Stocks After Big Runs

After the recent strong performance of gold and gold mining stocks in 2016, many analysts have made new gold stock calls. Some are higher, some are lower. In the case of Jefferies, the firm outlined several key gold stocks this week that its analysts see as winners. 24/7 Wall St. has tracked many gold stocks with analyst upgrades and downgrades from this week alone.

Jefferies named Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) as one of its top picks in gold for U.S. stocks, with a Buy rating and a $28.00 price target. The firm’s other top pick is London-traded Acacia. Deutsche Bank also has a Buy rating on Newmont Mining, but the bank raised its target price to $28 from $26 this week.

This call was after industrial miners have outperformed. Jefferies said that it would increase positions in the firm’s preferred gold miners and take profits elsewhere in mining.

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) was mentioned positively as well. The caveat here was that Barrick’s 85% year-to-date rally at the time Jefferies published was justified, but the firm opines that further outperformance for Barrick shares is unlikely for now. Barrick Gold has a Neutral rating at Credit Suisse, but the target price was raised to $11 from $10. Deutsche Bank raised its target price to $12, and BMO Capital Markets kept an Outperform rating but raised its price target to $15. TD Securities has a Buy rating on Barrick but raised its target to $15.50 from $14.50.

Jefferies attributed the recent strength in the mining sector, at least excluding gold, to a seasonal restock in iron ore and copper in China, seasonal supply disruptions in iron ore, weakness in the U.S. dollar, and some strength in the price of oil. The firm remains concerned that fundamentals are almost certain to deteriorate in the near future.

Elsewhere, other key gold stocks receiving analyst upgrades, downgrades and price changes were seen as follows:

  • Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE: GG) has a Neutral rating at Credit Suisse on Friday, with the firm lowering its price target to $13 from $14, along with lower earnings estimates. Jefferies showed Goldcorp with a Hold rating and a $15 price target.
  • Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $2.85 target (versus a $31.8 prior close) at UBS.
  • Randgold Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ: GOLD) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets. Randgold was also shown as a Hold rating at Jefferies.
  • Yamana Gold Inc. (NYSE: AUY) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and the price target was cut to $2.80 from $2.40 (versus a $2.73 prior close) at Goldman Sachs. Yamana had a consensus analyst target of $3.08 and a 52-week trading range of $1.38 to $4.32. Bank of America Merrill Lynch kept its Neutral rating but raised its price objective to $3.15 from $1.90.

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