Why Credit Suisse Still Sees Big Upside for 5 Large Cap Gold Producers

September 25, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

It is no secret that the bull market is now well into its eighth year. When analysts issue or reiterate Buy and Outperform ratings, they are currently implying upside of 8% to 15% in the larger S&P 500 index companies. There are cases where the upside price targets can imply higher gains, and there are many instances where the upside targets are only 5% or even less above the current share price.

Credit Suisse has updated many of the targets and valuations for its large cap precious metals producers, and even as some targets have been trimmed the implied upside comes with a range of 22% to 35%. The firm’s updating estimates for the third quarter and beyond were to be ahead of the Denver Gold Forum. They are calling for capital allocation to projects and for more potential in M&A with stronger sector balance sheets and an ability to add value in the existing portfolio.

What has happened in the past year is that the gold-mining stocks have by and large come down considerably from their 52-week highs. Specifically, the key exchange traded funds that track gold have rocketed higher in 2017 but are down handily from a year ago. The key gold price ETF (GLD) is up 12% so far in 2017 but down over 3% from a year ago. The key gold mining stock ETF (GDX) is up 12% year to date but down 15% from this time last year. It is normal to see analysts trim target prices after big sell-offs. After all, you can’t expect a whole group of stocks to easily rise 50% even if they have pulled back handily.

24/7 Wall St. has included trading history and how each new Credit Suisse target price compares with the Thomson Reuters consensus analyst target. Additional commentary has been included as well. Most of the firm’s investment views come with risks that range from commodity prices to operational to geopolitical.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) was worth over $10.6 billion, and Credit Suisse’s target price went to $59 from $64. This is still about 28% higher than the prior closing price of $46.14. Its rating at Credit Suisse is Outperform, and the firm’s $59 target price is above the consensus analyst price of $56.71. Agnico Eagle Mines has a 52-week trading range of $35.05 to $56.08.

Agnico Eagle is considered a top pick from Credit Suisse. The firm’s report noted:

Agnico Eagle is a top pick for its strong exploration and project pipeline, strong balance sheet, track record and valuation which is more attractive versus peers on net asset value than investors realize due to Agnico Eagle mining below reserve grade (provides tailwind for future cash flow) and robust resource base which has higher than usual potential to convert into reserves over time. Commodity prices are the key risk to our view.

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) was last seen trading at $16.33. Credit Suisse has an Outperform rating, and its prior $22.50 target price was trimmed to $22.00. This still implies upside of 35%, and its consensus target price is only $20.22. Barrick’s market value is $19 billion. Its shares have traded in a range of $13.81 to $20.78 over the past year.

The firm’s investment view on Barrick noted that Tanzanian negotiations an area of focus, and it said:

Barrick has delivered underlying net asset value per share growth over the last year and we expect that to continue due to management’s focus on ROIC and Barrick’s high quality asset base.

Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE: GG) has one of the odd scenarios where there is still well above average upside, but it comes with a Neutral rating from Credit Suisse. The latest closing price of $12.74 generates a $10.9 billion market cap. Credit Suisse’s target was lowered to $15.50 from $16.75, which is more or less in line with the $16.87 consensus target price. The firm expects 22% upside here. Goldcorp shares have a range of $11.91 to $17.87 over the past 52-weeks.

The investment view on Goldcorp said:

Goldcorp’s attractive growth profile is tempered by our view that execution risk remains high. In our experience, operational turnaround takes longer to effect than expected, but once started, delivers results more rapidly than expected. We do see GG more likely to rebound given FCF leverage in a gold bull run.

Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) is worth more than $5 billion in market value, based on its $5.29 share price, and Credit Suisse also has an unusual 30% upside to its unchanged target price of $5.50. Kinross has a consensus target price of $5.21, and its 52-week range is $2.88 to $4.91.

Credit Suisse’s neutral investment view note:

We rate Kinross as Neutral due to its 2016 re-rating which has brought valuation closer to peers and our desire to see Kinross’s capital allocation strategy delineated given its shorter than average reserve life. We retain a constructive bias on KGC due to its high leverage to gold and our positive gold price view.

Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) is rated as Outperform at Credit Suisse, and $37.43 share price comes with a market cap of about $20 billion. The firm has maintained its prior target price of $48.50 and that would imply 30% upside. Newmont shares have a 52-week range of $30.19 to $40.05 and a consensus target price of $40.62.

On Newmont, Credit Suisse’s outperform view noted that it should do better based on operational consistency over the years 2014 to 2016 and due to a strong track record of adding to reserves and net asset value versus its peers. It is also said to have the strongest balance sheet among peers Barrick and Goldcorp.