The whole precious metals sector -- both gold and silver as well as mining stocks -- have gotten hit pretty hard over the past few days. For those who remain convinced that the "solution" to the global debt crisis that monetary authorities are putting forth, which is simply to add more debt, will only serve to catapult the price of precious metals much higher, such sell-offs constitute little more than a great buying opportunity.
And when I looked at stocks that I thought would be especially worth buying in light of the recent sell-off -- meaning stocks with outstanding fundamentals that sold off sharply -- near the top of the list is McEwen Mining (MUX).
First, let's start with the technicals: the chart below illustrates my take on the basic technicals at play here. As we are at a 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level from accumulation to distribution, and as this level coincides with a previous support/resistance zone, I think it constitutes a reasonably opportunity to buy the dip.
Fundamentally, the story behind MUX is the same: this is primarily a bet on Rob McEwen, a mining entrepreneur with an outstanding track record; he is the executive principally responsible for the ascent of Goldcorp (GG), a senior producer I regard as the best in the gold mining industry. If there is one gold stock to own, I think Goldcorp is it (see my previous commentary on Goldcorp). The success of Goldcorp is relevant here, as it illustrates McEwen's capabilities. Getting to invest in Rob McEwen's new mining venture before it reaches full valuation would be like investing in a new technology company started by Steve Jobs, if that were possible. Since McEwen is the primary reason to invest, it's worth noting that he has a 25% stake in the company and takes no salary. Below is a slide from MUX's investor presentation that puts this statistic in context.
While McEwen is the primary reason to invest, it is worth noting that the company is putting out positive news as well. As of the end of February, MUX has no debt and over $78 million in liquid assets -- including gold and silver being held to be sold at higher prices. The company has geographical diversity and is already in production on its San Jose mine in Argentina; San Jose is primarily a silver producer, and its cost per ounce is negative $1.02. Negative cost silver producers -- an anomaly obtainable when other metals can be found as by-products of silver mining and can be sold to subsidize the cost of silver discovery -- is a situation I find very appealing, and when coupled with top management and an undervalued share price, makes a very compelling opportunity. Silvercorp (SVM) is another company I am a shareholder in because of its ability to report negative cost per ounce in silver production.
Price of course can continue to fall in the case of MUX, but if you believe mining stocks will soar and that producing firms will generate new all-time highs, any sizable sell-off is a welcome buying opportunity.