Brexit Lifts Gold Mining Stocks to New Highs

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The 2016 gold rally just got a shot of rocket fuel from the U.K. vote to leave the European Union.  The massive rally in gold on Friday has also leveraged an upside move in the world’s gold miners.

Investors are dumping euros and sterling in favor of dollars, yen, and gold. Yields on 10-year U.S. treasuries are way down. The sentiment is put your cash where it will be safe from the volatility that will come along with the uncertainty generated by the Brexit vote.

We recently looked to see if there was still value among the top gold-mining stocks which had been rising steadily in 2016. We found considerable value, but this is an instance where beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We screened out the small cap stocks, those with a market capitalization under $1 billion, to avoid the most speculative names. Then our main focus went to book value, and four of five of the top gold-mining and production stocks were still valued at less than 1.0 times book value, and the fifth is the second-largest gold miner measured by market cap.

In an effort to screen out some of the royalty companies and other non-core companies, we went ahead and screened for the price-to-sales ratios to make sure that investors were really evaluating gold companies with hard assets rather than fixed financial claims tied to gold.

Many gold-mining and production stocks have more than doubled year to date. Of these five, the lowest year to date gain is 45% and the highest is 287%.

Investors also need to remember that book value can make a company look cheap, but the stock also can be mispriced to the current market. In the case of gold-mining outfits, many of them are basing the value of their estimated reserves and metals in the ground at various gold prices. Every company also has a very different cost of mining, another reason we included a price-to-sales ratio.

The long and short of the matter is that if these companies were theoretically to come up for sale they might not fetch the full book value or might not fetch any premium at all. As you will see, some of these gold stocks have rallied to the point that they are now well above their consensus analyst price targets. That may change over the next several days as analysts chew on the potential impact from Britain’s exit from the EU.

Due to so many factors outside of a company’s control, we did not include current or future price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios. There are just too many factors to consider, from geopolitics to employee strife and even floods or accidents. Still, these companies are mostly expected to be profitable, but be advised they might not look cheap on a raw earnings valuation basis.

Some companies are involved in selling or acquiring gold and other mineral projects. That can greatly change their book values. It can also mean that some of these descriptions or underlying book values might be partly off base. With most gold companies being international (only one of these five is based in the United States), there can also be wild swings in valuation due to currency exchange rates and events like the Brexit vote.

Yamana Gold
The market cap of Yamana Gold Inc. (NYSE: AUY) was last seen at $4.79 billion, despite such a low share price. Yamana is valued at 2.56 times sales and 0.94 times book value. It has seen its shares rise 170% year to date. And it had an operating earnings-per-share loss of $0.08 in 2015, but an increase in revenues is expected to generate profits of $0.11 per share in 2016 and $0.13 in 2017.

Yamana Gold is based in Toronto, Canada. Its precious metal properties are located in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Canada.

Shares of Yamana Gold were last seen trading at $5.06, up about 4.6% for the day, and the consensus analyst price target of $4.60 is less than the current share price. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $1.38 to $5.38.

Harmony Gold
Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMY) has a $1.58 billion market capitalization. It is listed at 1.4 times sales and is valued at 0.83 times book value. Its shares have risen 287% so far in 2016. The stock is very thinly covered by U.S. research analysts. The two estimates tracked for 2017 and 2017 both forecast profits.

This is the only one of the five sub-book value miners that is based in South Africa. It is mainly into gold exploration and mining in South Africa and Papua New Guinea.

Harmony Gold shares were trading at $3.60, up about 7.8% for the day, with a consensus price target of $3.62 and a 52-week range of $0.53 to $4.19.

Eldorado Gold
The market cap of Eldorado Gold Corp. (NYSE: EGO) is $3.1 billion and it is valued at 3.81 times sales. It also is valued at 0.8 times book value. Eldorado Gold has seen its shares rise 45% so far this year. It posted only a two-cent operating earnings per share (EPS) for 2015, and that is expected to rise to $0.03 per share in 2016 and $0.11 in 2017.

Eldorado Gold is based in Vancouver, Canada. Its projects are in properties in Turkey, China, Greece, Brazil and Romania.

Eldorado Gold was trading at $4.32, up about 2.9% for the day, and its consensus price target is $5.27. It has a 52-week range of $1.87 to $5.16.

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IAMGOLD
IAMGOLD Corp. (NYSE: IAG) has a $1.72 billion market cap. It is valued at 1.82 times sales and 0.82 times book value. The stock has so far risen a sharp 198% in 2016. This company is not expected to be profitable in 2016, even if the loss is expected to be narrower in 2016 than 2015 and narrower in 2017 than in 2016.

As with others, the company is based in Canada: Toronto in this case. Its projects are in Suriname, South America; Burkina Faso, West Africa; Québec, Canada; Gogama, Ontario; and it has interests in eastern Senegal and Brazil.

IAMGOLD has a consensus analyst target of $3.13, well below the current share price of $4.23. Shares traded up about 5.7% Friday morning in a 52-week range of $1.15 to $4.46, and the high was posted earlier this morning.

Newmont
The market capitalization rate of Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) is $19.71 billion. And it is valued at 2.41 times sales and at 1.65 times its book value. Newmont has seen its shares rise 106% so far in 2016. The company posted a $0.98 per share result in operating earnings in 2015, and it is expected to make $1.31 in 2016 EPS and $1.64 in 2017.

This company is based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, and has projects and assets in the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, and Suriname.

Shares were last seen trading at $37.04, within a 52-week range of $15.39 to $38.68 after posting a new high earlier this morning. The consensus price target is $35.79.