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On Tuesday October 16th, analysts at Barclay's initiated coverage on five companies within the gold mining (NYSEARCA:GDX) sector and as a result of the new coverage I wanted to highlight some of the positive catalysts of each company. One thing that potential investors should note, is the fact that as of yesterday gold has given back all of its gains since the initiation of QE3, which may not be such a bright spot for the Gold and Gold Mining sectors as a whole.

Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) - Analysts at Barclay's initiated the company with an "Equal Weight" rating and has set a $52.00/share price target. The first catalyst comes in the form of the company's profit and operating margins when compared to one of the company's direct competitors. In the last 12 months, Barrick Gold has demonstrated very strong Profit (27.85%) and Operating (42.04%) margins whereas Anglo Gold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) has only managed to demonstrate Profit and Operating of 27.49% and 32.79%, respectively. The second catalyst comes in the form of QE3 performance, which has seen the stock lose roughly 5.21% of its share value.

From a fundamentally specific standpoint, I think the company possesses several key positive catalysts including very attractive valuation levels, excellent cash flow from existing operations ($5.16 Billion), and a very nice return on equity in the last 12 months (16.32%).

Agnico-Eagle Mines LTD (NYSE:AEM) - Analysts at Barclay's initiated the company with an "Equal Weight" rating and has set a $62.00/share price target. The first catalyst comes in the form of the company's EPS history when compared to one of the company's direct competitors. In the last 6 months, Agnico-Eagle Mines has demonstrated very strong EPS results, surpassing estimates by an average of 46.40% whereas Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) has missed estimates by an average of 17.85%. The second catalyst comes in the form of QE3 performance, which has seen the stock add roughly 2.61% to its share value.

From an operations-based standpoint, I think the company possesses several key positive catalysts. These catalysts include the development and construction of the La India open pit mine and heap leach operation in Sonora, Mexico. If the company can demonstrate positive results from operations at this location I think the La India mine could be a contributing factor to the company's growth for years to come.

Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) - Analysts at Barclay's initiated the company with an "Over Weight" rating and has set a $25.00/share price target. The first catalyst comes in the form of the company's profit and operating margins when compared to one of the company's direct competitors. In the last 12 months, Yamana Gold has demonstrated very strong Profit (25.26%) and Operating (41.22%) margins whereas Franco-Nevada Corp. (NYSE:FNV) has only managed to demonstrate Profit and Operating of 5.10% and 16.50%, respectively. The second catalyst comes in the form of QE3 performance, which has seen the stock add roughly 4.39% of its share value.

From a production-based standpoint, I think AUY will demonstrate strong results for both FY 13 and FY 14 especially from its Mercedes Mine in Mexico, which should play a vital role in the company's growth over the next 24 months. According to an article written by my fellow SA Contributor Christopher Davis, "For fiscal 2013, production is expected to be around 1.5 to 1.7 million gold equivalent ounces, most of which will come from full-year production from Santa Luz and Ernesto Pau-a-Pique operations. By fiscal 2014, production is targeted to be at a sustainable level of approximately 1.75 million gold equivalent ounces."

El Dorado Gold (NYSE:EGO) - Analysts at Barclay's initiated the company with an "Equal Weight" rating and has set a $18.00/share price target. The first catalyst comes in the form of the company's profit and operating margins when compared to one of the company's direct competitors. In the last 12 months, El Dorado Gold has demonstrated very strong Profit (26.76%) and Operating (47.02%) margins whereas Alacer Gold Corp. (OTCPK:ALIAF) has only managed to demonstrate Profit and Operating of 26.01% and 29.43%, respectively. The second catalyst comes in the form of QE3 performance, which has seen the stock lose roughly 3.97% of its share value.

From a production and construction-based standpoint, El Dorado Gold received approval to obtain a Preliminary Environmental License, or PEL, which will now allow the company to obtain the final license needed to initiate operations for its Tocantinzinho Project. According to TheFlyontheWall.com, "The Tocantinzinho Project is a proposed open pit mine with a conventional Carbon in Leach milling circuit. The current mine life is 11 years with a 1.9M ounce proven and probable gold mineral reserve. Eldorado is completing the feasibility study for the project and continues to explore aggressively in the Project area as well as the greater Tapajos region."

IAMGold Corp (NYSE:IAG) - Analysts at Barclay's initiated the company with an "Equal Weight" rating and has set a $19.00/share price target. The first catalyst comes in the form of the company's EPS history over the last 12 months when compared to one of the company's direct competitors. In the last 9 months, IAMGOLD has demonstrated improving quarterly results whereas AuRico Gold Inc. (NYSE:AUQ) has demonstrated declining quarterly results. On one hand, and over the last three quarters, IAG has demonstrated a miss of -12.10% during the December 2011 quarter, a miss of -10.70% during the March 2012 quarter, and lastly an EPS report that was in-line with estimates during the June 2012 quarter. On the other hand AUQ has demonstrated a beat of 7.10% during the December 2011 quarter, an in-line report during the March 2012 quarter, and lastly an EPS report that missed estimates by 30.10% during the June 2012 quarter. The second catalyst comes in the form of QE3 performance, which has seen the stock add roughly 8.85% of its share value.

Final Analysis

Potential investors should consider small to medium sized position based on the analysis and the variables I've provided. I strongly believe that using QE3 as a key reference point for performance is a bit a premature considering the fact we are still in the early stages of this round of quantitative easing and the performance of the gold mining sector has been mixed.

Disclosure: I am long ABX, IAG. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Source: 5 Gold Stocks With Interesting Catalysts To Consider In The Wake Of New Analyst Coverage