Commodities & Metals

Why Credit Suisse's Top Metals & Mining Picks Have 30% to 40% Upside


A new Credit Suisse report takes a positive stance on some key players in the metal and mining industries. Overall the firm sees improving apparent demand trends, accelerating global growth, positive earnings revisions and debt reduction as key drivers. Considering the new Trump administration has been positive for industrials, we could expect to see some continued upside with Credit Suisse’s picks.

2016 was a year of demand recovery, while 2017 should be a year when miners begin to repay investors for five tough years of underperformance through higher cash returns and ongoing capital discipline.

At the end of last year Credit Suisse raised its steel demand estimates and lifted its 2017 iron ore forecast from $45 per tonne to $55 per tonne. For 2017, the iron ore market looks balanced, but in 2018 the market could again head into surplus.

In coal, the firm expects price parity between seaborne thermal and the spot price in China. In base metals, Credit Suisse continues to like the outlook for zinc and forecast a deficit market in 2017 and 2018. The firm remains constructive on gold and forecast an average of $1,338 per ounce in 2017.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) has an implied 41% upside to Credit Suisse’s $65 price target. This company is a top pick for its strong exploration and project pipeline (which leads to a growth pipeline without the need for mergers and acquisitions) and strong balance sheet and operating track record (which makes it less leveraged to gold price moves than peers). The valuation now looks more attractive on a spot pricing basis following recent currency moves as Agnico has cost exposure to the Canadian dollar, Mexican peso and the euro. The stock trades at an 8% discount to senior gold producer peers, while in Credit Suisse’s view it should trade at a premium.

Shares of Agnico were trading up 1.7% to $46.85 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $52.21 and a 52-week trading range of $26.10 to $60.10.

If Credit Suisse’s targets come to pass, Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE: SLW) has 30% in implied upside to its Canadian price. The firm likes Silver Wheaton for its streaming business model that provides investors with leverage to the silver and gold price, while maintaining a low and relatively fixed unit cost basis. The company offers investors a levered play on precious metals prices that should command a multiple in line with royalty valuations and a premium to precious metals miners based on its tax-efficient leverage to underlying prices, free cash flow and strong balance sheet.

Shares of Silver Wheaton were trading up 1.6% at $20.79. The consensus price target is $29.85, and the 52-week range is $10.04 to $31.35.

The implied upside for Teck Resources Ltd. (NYSE: TCK) to its Canadian price target is 33%, if Credit Suisse’s targets prove correct. While Teck shares are not immune to falling spot coking coal prices, the firm sees compelling valuation support for Teck in a tight coking coal market in 2017, a constrained supply-side response, reflation of the steelmaking cost curve and equity scarcity among global coking coal plays. With an estimated free cash flow generation of C$1.8 billion over the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, Teck is well positioned for balance sheet deleveraging and remains on the path toward investment grade as a priority.

Teck shares were up 2.4% on Tuesday, at $25.96 in a 52-week range of $3.10 to $26.60.

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