Barrick Gold' s (ABX) announcement late Tuesday that it was undertaking a bought-deal financing worth more than $3-billion to eliminate its fixed price hedges is a sign of good things to come for gold prices and the gold industry, Blackmont Capital says.
Richard Gray, mining analyst with Blackmont, considers the move, which will raise share counts by 10.6%, a "steep" one but worth the risk.
He said in a note Wednesday:
We view this as a major, positive event for both Barrick Gold and the entire gold market. For Barrick, it is the elimination of a significant future liability that was becoming more difficult to defend with the increasing gold price.
Barrick will use $1.9-billion of the proceeds to eliminate all of its fixed price gold contracts over the next 12 months, a move that will allow the company to buy back or deliver about 3 million ounces of the metal on the market.
"Just as important is the monumental signal by the world's largest gold company that it believes gold prices are poised to increase further," he said.
Blackmont now expects gold prices to remain higher than $1,000 an ounce over the next six to 12 months.
Mr. Gray maintains an Outperform rating on Barrick while lowering the target price to C$48.50 from C$49 on share dilution.