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In researching the performance of the streetTracks Gold Shares (NYSEARCA:GLD) vs. individual gold mining companies, I found that four out of the five top gold miners outperformed the ETF during the past 6 months. The GLD tracks the price of gold bullion minus any expenses incurred. The miners I compared included Lihir Gold Ltd.(LIHR) , Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX), GoldCorp (NYSE:GG), Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), and Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC).

For the past three month period, GLD had a 25% gain while the five miners enjoyed appreciation of 5% for NEM, 30% for ABX, 18% for LIHR, 33% for GG, and 42% for KGC. All the miners except LIHR pay a small dividend. For the past six month period, the spread between GLD’s 48% rise and the miners increases greatly. Newmont (NEM) had a 22% increase, 63% for ABX, 57% for LIHR, 84% for GG, and 110% for KGC.

I had previously recommended Barrick Gold (ABX) and Newmont Mining (NEM). Barrick Gold was recently downgraded by Credit Suisse which makes the analyst estimates for the company’s earnings not as wonderful as before. Newmont still looks promising from an EPS estimate perspective, but ongoing discussions with the Indonesian government over a mine on one of its island has kept the stock from moving lately.

KGC has some analyst raising their estimates in the current quarter and for the year, but for a safe bet on the price of gold continuing to rally I would stick with the conservative GLD.

Disclosure: Author holds positions in the above-mentioned securities

Source: Is streetTRACKS Gold ETF Too Conservative?