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Stanley Barton

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  • Refreshing Our Best-Of-The-Best Dividend Portfolio [View article]

    I cannot argue with any of your comments, and that is why we are keeping HCI.

    I also agree that the UVE management insisting on the precious metal investments gave me some pause, but this management is also buying back shares and is very dividend friendly. Now that the investment portfolio has been placed in more stable instruments, the Q over Q comps should be very good for UVE. All these FL insurers are doing great, I just thought a little diversification would be good considering our profits in HCI.

    I was very happy that HCI chose to increase the reinsurance coverage, as that was really the only concern that I had about their operations.

    Thanks for reading the article.

    Jul 19 03:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Finally, A Reason To Buy Gold Miners [View article]

    Thanks for the intro to PTQMF....looks very interesting. I should mention that a quick calculation based on the 3rd quarter report is that the break even price of gold for them is actually about $1264. Cash costs do not take into account operating costs, and they are spending on exploration and expansion, so they could lower that break-even number by slowing down the initiatives. Nonetheless, it looks like a potential winner, at $.30 a share and $.10 per share in annual free cash flow. I will need some time to analyze it to see if that is the case.

    I do know COLUF, but since I own SAND, I have not considered a direct investment in that one. I will look harder at it also.


    Jul 3 12:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Finally, A Reason To Buy Gold Miners [View article]
    There is a lot to like about AEM, regardless of the Zack rating (which is probably bullish, insofar as one day they will upgrade the stock). It is in my top 5, but I cannot buy them all.
    Jul 1 04:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Finally, A Reason To Buy Gold Miners [View article]

    It appears that AEM and AGI probably calculate the "all-in" costs differently, probably to enhance the comparison. I think that is the point of the WGC standardization.

    I should mention that Zacks a few days ago downgraded AEM to a sell, citing high operating expenses, which are not usually included in the "cash costs." The release:

    According to the YAHOO stats, the debt of AEM is decidedly a higher percentage of market cap and is about 2.75 times the cash assets. This is relatively high in comparison to AGI, AUY and GG. It may acceptable, but debt load is a problem for miners that are barely making money at low gold costs...they do not have the same options of adjusting production like a no-debt producer like AGI.

    Hope that helps,
    Jul 1 02:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Finally, A Reason To Buy Gold Miners [View article]

    Good observation.

    Many have gotten burned trying to guess the gold bottom. To limit the downside risk, I decided to look at cheap out-of-the-money mid-term options in gold miners when the spot price hit our $1240 level. I bought AUY and GG options, but Alamos does not have any options available.

    Hope that helps,

    Jun 29 04:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dead Cat Bounce Or Next Leg Up For Homebuilders? [View article]
    I do not yet see a bubble in housing, for following reasons:

    Buyers are under much more scrutiny for credit-worthiness...bu... occur when people start speculating that have no business in the market, as in the crisis.

    The cost to build a house is more than the cost of existing homes in most cities. The cost of materials are rising and builders' gross margins are less than 20% typically. The housing market has to catch up on years of commodity and labor increases.

    I am not sure there is a lot of long-term profit left in these stocks compared to other sectors, but that is why we limit our bets to options.

    Hope that helps
    Jun 29 12:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Finally, A Reason To Buy Gold Miners [View article]
    I always keep some precious metal exposure in diversified portfolios, just as I keep exposure to energy, healthcare, etc., so I am holding on to HL and AUNFF as I believe their cost is low and have opportunities for growth. I cannot see silver much lower, although short-term anything is possible. As a long-term investor, I bought some cheap options to purchase both gold and silver miners in the event of a bounce back. I think this is a way to not get left behind, without committing too much capital.

    Hope this helps
    Jun 29 12:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Advice For The Lovelorn Investor: 2 Stocks That Cherish Shareholders [View article]

    I am a long-term holder of MIL and continue to hold. I like the little 3% divvy and even though it has disappointed in last earnings report, I do not think that is a trend. It is still under book and CEO Smith has a history of good deals. It is not a good trading stock, but I expect it to gradually grow in both price and dividend from here.

    I like the PMD dividend at 5.5% and I think it is safe. However, it looks like their latest initiatives are slow to pay off. I am inclined to watch this one until the next quarterly report in August.

    Hope that helps.
    Jun 28 02:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware The Trap Door Under Miners' Silver Reserves [View article]
    I am now holding a small position in RVM and I plan on holding for the long term. I do think that the latest announcement of additional structural damage at the Troy mine is very serious. Management is even shading the PR to open the door to possibly abandoning the mine. I do not think that will happen, but the layoffs probably mean no revenue this year and that likely means dead money investing in RVM this year.

    Having said that, the company has some cash and potentially valuable properties. The silver is not going anywhere, so I can see RVM back around $5 in a few years. I would rather have a little spare money sitting in RVM than low interest money market or bonds during that period. Long-term, I think that silver will rebound, so the present price looks like good value from that perspective.

    May 24 11:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware The Trap Door Under Miners' Silver Reserves [View article]

    If the Shafter mine produces as expected, I believe it will be the third most productive silver mine in the US, after HECLA's Greens Creek and Lucky Friday mines. With the production from Mexico, AUNFD will indeed be a major producer. That is one reason why I am anxious to find out if the Shafter mine will meet expectations.

    May 18 05:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware The Trap Door Under Miners' Silver Reserves [View article]

    I did catch most of the RVM conference call. I must say it was not very encouraging. Basically, they put off providing any specifics about the Troy mine situation until a report they will issue at the end of the month. The fact that they are still "evaluating" tells me that the mine closure may extend longer than the current quarter. On the upside, RVM has not laid off anyone, and they responded that the problems were related to "logistics" of moving material, which presumably is better than a problem that would affect the resources. I guess we will have to wait until the end of the month, but I suspect that the report then will address delays in getting the mine open.

    Rock Creek was not discussed, other than to say they are continuing their plan to develop that property. I think that everyone assumed that the Rock Creek progress depends first on the cash flow from the Troy mine, so that mine was the focus of the call.

    I am holding RVM at this very beaten down price, but I think I am going to wait for the month-end report to decide what to do regarding this company.

    Hope this helps,

    May 14 11:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware The Trap Door Under Miners' Silver Reserves [View article]

    I have been bogged down in business consulting work lately and had to postpone my trip to the Shafter Mine. I hope to put it on the agenda soon. The stock dropped a little after the consolidation, as I mentioned often happens. The good news is once the initial drop is out of the way, there may be an upward bias. Unfortunately, the price of silver continues to drop as I write this, so we may need to wait for a rebound in the metal. I still like the fundamentals and prospects for two low-cost silver mines operating on all cylinders. I continue to think that the Shafter Mine is the key, but I am continuing to hold until I can find out if there is any reason why that mine will not meet expectations.

    May 12 09:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware The Trap Door Under Miners' Silver Reserves [View article]

    Thank you for correcting me...I was referring to the Rock Creek property....old age is teaching me that my memory is no longer infallible. I think the political climate depends more on who controls Montana, and even the overwhelming Republican majority in that state has not silenced the local environmentalists. The federal government and courts have supported RVM in the Rock Creek project at every dispute to date. However, I do agree that it is only a matter of time and the project will be a go. I think mostly RVM wants to get the Troy mine back in shape so that they and potential partners can count on uninterrupted cash flow for the new project development.

    I am very familiar with SVLC, as the Santa Elena mine is one of the Sandstorm streaming properties. SAND gets 20% of the gold production for $350 an ounce. This is not insignificant and is not included in the $8 cash cost for that mine. Nevertheless, I have liked SVLC, but my investment in it is through SAND. I think that SVLC's price is partly supported by large "inferred" resources, and as mentioned in this article that is no guarantee that those resources exist or can be mined profitably. For instance, price to book for SVLC is 2.0 while for RVM it is only 0.57. For another Mexican silver miner, Excellon Resources, this ratio is 1.43. Personally, I do not put much value on "inferred" resources in this market. SVLC also has touted the new discoveries of limited meters of silver at a very nice 8 ounces silver equivalent per ton. However, EXN.TO is currently averaging 17 ounces per ton, while clearing areas for higher grade ore of 26 ounces per ton. The result is lower costs per ounce than most junior miners. The downside for EXN.TO is that it has been impacted by a labor dispute with a renegade union that even their workers did not support. I have worked on such issues in Mexico for 19 years and it is outrageous the way some of these "sindicatos" try to muscle their way into profitable operations, while doing nothing for the workers. EXN.TO fought back and that dispute appears to be resolved. Before that, the stock was a junior miner favorite of the market and management was under-promising and over-delivering. Bottom line, as good as SVLC is, my preference as a speculative play would be Excellon Resources, as it has the highest grade silver in Mexico, low cash costs, no royalty burden and recent discoveries of high-grade gold in its properties.

    Thanks for reading my article.

    May 12 07:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware The Trap Door Under Miners' Silver Reserves [View article]

    I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed with RVM, and you are correct that the mine has been closed in the first quarter for repairs. I guess if there is any good about this is that all mines need maintenance sooner or later, and it is better to suspend production when silver is at a very low price. RVM is a proven producer and I suspect will generate positive cash flow in Q3. I originally was attracted to RVM because it had the added asset of the Bear Creek property, which could be a giant resource for silver in the US. Unfortunately, the environmentalists are fighting hard to keep that mine from being a reality, even though RVM has won all the court battles. It would also be a good boost for the local economy. If you believe, as I do, that silver will trend higher over the long term, RVM looks like a good contrarian play. I am going to listen to the conference call on May 13 and see if the insiders drop any clues why they are buying shares.

    Hope this helps,

    May 10 01:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Latest Tetra Technologies Buyout Clues [View article]

    I think TTI is a good long-term buy at the price. I base that on the fact that I think that the services they provide are always going to be needed, and will be more necessary as oil fields are seeing their production falling...this happens pretty quickly in shale plays in particular. The drop was due to lower earnings and management's prediction of relatively slow rebound in production testing. The entire oil service sector is not very popular, but if you believe that oil is not going to drop drastically, and alternate energy forms have yet to make a meaningful impact, it is a sector that I think should be represented in my portfolio.

    I also think the buyout prospects are not dead. Finally, the recent drubbing of COMPRESSCO may be making GSJK the best current option in this group.

    Hope this helps,

    May 10 01:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment