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The world's five largest uranium companies by deposits according to Uranium Resources' (URRE) investor presentation dated May 2012 are the following.

Company Reserves & Resources (Measured, Indicated & Inferred) (lbs, in millions)
Cameco (CCJ) 1,007.6
Paladin Energy (OTCPK:PALAF) 654.3
ERA (Rio Tinto) (RIO) 601.6
First Uranium Corp. (now AngloGold Ashanti) (AU) 257.1
Berkeley Resources (OTCPK:BKLRF) 206.5

Here is a closer look at each of these companies.

1. Cameco is one of the world's largest uranium producers. The company's uranium products are used to generate electricity in nuclear energy plants around the world, providing one of the cleanest sources of energy available today.


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Financials

The company reported the third-quarter financial results on October 31 with the following highlights:

Revenue $408.4 million
Net income $81.6 million
Cash $663.9 million

Outlook

The company remains confident in the long-term fundamentals of the nuclear industry as world demand for safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy continues to grow. Nuclear energy remains an integral part of the energy mix, demonstrated by the 64 reactors under construction today.

However, recent developments in the nuclear industry, primarily centered around Japan, have caused more uncertainty in the rate of growth in nuclear power globally. This led us to review and adjust our outlook, and examine our long-term growth plans.

While market factors continue to evolve, the company's current view is that over the next decade (to 2021), the company expects there will be 80 net new reactors, compared to the 95 previously anticipated. Most of this change is due to the retirement of some reactors and new reactor builds being pushed out beyond the 10-year period. As a result, the company has revised its cumulative world uranium demand forecast to 2.1 billion pounds for that period, down 50 million pounds from its previous expectation. As always, the company will continue to evaluate the effects on demand as the nuclear market evolves.

Given this expected near-term decrease in demand, the company examined its portfolio of projects to determine if it should adjust the timing of development for them. From this review, the company has decided to focus primarily on advancing its brownfield projects, while deferring development of its greenfield projects. However, the company will undertake some measured activity to preserve the option to bring on these greenfield projects as quickly as possible should market conditions warrant doing so. In addition, the company will advance its arrangement with Talvivaara and pace the expansion projects at Inkai. By taking these actions the company expects to achieve about 36 million pounds of annual supply rather than 40 million pounds by 2018.

The company is expecting 2012 uranium production to be 21.7 million pounds.

My analysis

The stock has a $13 price target from the Point and Figure chart. The stock is trading at a P/E ratio of 17.12 and a forward P/E ratio of 13.16. The company has a book value of $12.69 per share and the stock has a 2.11% dividend yield. I might wait until the $13 price target is hit before buying the stock.

2. Paladin Energy is a uranium production company with projects currently in Australia and two operating mines in Africa with a strategy to become a major uranium mining house.


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Financials

The company reported the full fiscal year 2012, which ended June 30, financial results on August 30 with the following highlights:

Revenue $267.4 million
Net loss $172.8 million
Cash $112.1 million
Net tangible assets $1.41 per share

Outlook for fiscal 2013

  • 2013 production guidance in the range of 8.0 to 8.5Mlb U3O8.
  • Resource update for Kayelekera Mine.
  • Continue to improve NOSA health and safety system rating for Langer Heinrich and Kayelekera mines.
  • Consolidate sustainability reporting.
  • Drive organic growth through project pipeline.
  • Initiate resource upgrade programmes at Michelin and Manyingee Projects.
  • Increase value in future term supply contracts.
  • Continue to seek value increase in existing pipeline projects through joint venture and M&A.

My analysis

The stock is trading near its 52 -week lows and below its net tangible assets of $1.41 per share. The company's mineral resource estimate is over 200 million pounds of uranium. I believe the stock is a good pick below $1.4.

3. Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the U.K., combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.


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Financials

The company reported the first six months financial results on August 8 with the following highlights:

Revenue $25.3 billion
Net income $5.2 billion
Cash $7.3 billion

Outlook

In 2012, Rio Tinto's share of uranium production is expected to be 9.7 million pounds.

My analysis

The stock has a $74 price target from the Point and Figure chart. The stock is trading at a P/E ratio of 22.30 and a forward P/E ratio of 6.74. The company has a book value of $30.15 per share and the stock has a 3.31% dividend yield. The stock could reach the $74 price target during the next 12-24 months.

4. AngloGold Ashanti has 20 operations in 10 countries on four continents, as well as several exploration programs in both the established and new gold producing regions of the world. AngloGold Ashanti employed 61,242 people, including contractors, in 2011 (2010: 62,046) and produced 4.33Moz of gold (2010: 4.52Moz), generating $6.6bn in gold income, excluding joint ventures (2010: $5.3bn). Capital expenditure in 2011 amounted to $1.5bn (2010: $1.0bn). As at 31 December 2011, AngloGold Ashanti had an attributable Ore Reserve of 75.6Moz (2010: 71.2Moz) and an attributable Mineral Resource of 230.9Moz (2010: 220.0Moz).


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Financials

The company reported the second-quarter financial results on August 5 with the following highlights:

Revenue $1.7 billion
Net income $285 million
Cash $987 million

News

On March 2 AngloGold Ashanti agreed to acquire First Uranium's (OTC:FURAF), the owner of Mine Waste Solutions, a recently commissioned tailings retreatment operation located in South Africa's Vaal River region and in the immediate proximity of AngloGold Ashanti's own tailings facilities, for an aggregate cash consideration of $335 million.

Following the transaction, combined with AngloGold Ashanti's Vaal River tailings (491Mt, containing 4.9Moz of gold and 92.3Mlbs of uranium), AngloGold Ashanti will own tailings facilities in the Vaal River region containing a combined mineral resource of 7.7Moz of gold and 154.4Mlbs of uranium.

My analysis

The stock has a $47 price target from the Point and Figure chart. The stock is trading at a P/E ratio of 8.07 and a forward P/E ratio of 7.07. The company has a book value of $14.54 per share and the stock has a 1.89% dividend yield. The company's mineral resource estimate is 154.4 million pounds of uranium. I believe stock could reach the $47 price target during the next 12-24 months.

5. Berkeley Resources is a uranium exploration and development company with a quality resource base in Spain. The company has a 100% interest in a total Mineral Resource estimated at 59.2 million pounds of contained U3O8 with an average grade of 426 ppm (at a cut-off grade of 200 ppm U3O8).

The company is currently focused on advancing it's wholly owned flagship integrated Salamanca Project, which comprises the Retortillo-Santidad and Alameda deposits plus a number of other Satellite deposits, through the development phase.

The results of a Pre-Feasibility Study completed in early 2012 confirmed the technical and economic viability of a stand-alone project exploiting the Retortillo-Santidad deposit, whilst the Alameda deposit formed part of a separate Feasibility Study completed in 2011. The company is now undertaking an initial assessment of the integrated development of these two deposits and believes the integrated Salamanca Project has the potential to support a significant annual production rate and mine life.

Berkeley is focused on pursuing the ongoing exploration, appraisal and development of this outstanding uranium project in order to fulfil its strategic objective of becoming the next European uranium producer.

Spain offers an environment conducive to Berkeley's activities, with no prohibitions on uranium mining, good mining infrastructure, skills and power, a reliable legal and mining title jurisdiction and a local energy market which is 18% nuclear dependent (World Nuclear Association, February 2012).

Financials

The company reported the third-quarter financial results on October 31 with the following highlights:

Revenue $0
Net loss $3.3 million
Cash $34.5 million
Shares outstanding 179.4 million
Cash per share $0.19

My analysis

The company's total mineral resources are estimated at 59.2 million pounds of uranium. With current burn rate the company should have enough cash to last for two years. The stock is trading near 52 -week lows.

Source: World's 5 Largest Uranium Companies