JUNIOR PRODUCER Q4/13 SCORECARD: RECALIBRATING OUR PRICE
DECK TO THE FORWARD CURVE
For the junior precious metal producers, we have calibrated our forecasts to our updated forward curve price deck, consistent with the deck used for the senior producers.
Our revised price deck is summarized below. Since our last update in October 2013, the long-term forward gold price has declined 3%, from $1,439/oz to $1,391/oz. Curve pricing for major by-products copper and silver have also declined, approximately 4% and 9%, respectivel.
On the other hand, we have seen a year-to-date recovery in junior gold equity prices as highlighted by an 18% increase in the GDXJ (surprisingly outperforming the gold price which is up only 4%). We believe this reflects renewed investor interest in the space, capital inflows into the gold sector and likely increased levels of investor risk tolerance. While we have maintained the upper end of the range of target multiples for junior producers at 1.1x, we have increased the lower end of the range from 0.4x to 0.5x, reflecting increasing levels of investor risk tolerance for equities with operational/financial challenges.
We remain positive on bullion longer term, but see the potential for significant volatility in the gold price over the next 12 months. While we see greater upside to gold equities relative to bullion, we continue to recommend investors stay defensive and choose quality over leverage. We favour companies with quality assets, strong balance sheets and relatively lower risk profiles –
i.e., producers that could generate and grow free cash flow even in the current depressed gold price environment.
Rating changes in this report include Argonaut Gold (BUY from Hold), Endeavour Mining (BUY from Speculative Buy), Fortuna Silver (BUY from Speculative Buy), and Sandstorm Gold (BUY from Speculative Buy).
Target prices have been revised lower for most stocks under coverage with the exception of higher target prices for NGD, AR, AUQ, DGC and PAA. Canaccord Genuity Canadian Focus List Picks include B2Gold, Primero Mining and Fortuna Silver Mines.
Our Q4/13 estimates have been updated to reflect actual metal prices during the quarter and pre-released operating results. In general, we are expecting a sequential and y/y decline in earnings (due to lower gold and silver prices). Our Q4/13 EPS estimates are notably below consensus for NGD, AUQ, EDV and PAA.
The Gold Investor’s Handbook “ by Jack A. Bass, B.A. LL.B.
( available from Amazon)
1oz 1984 Krugerrand Transferred from en.wikipedia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Why Invest in Gold and Gold Stocks – and Why Now ?
Historically, gold has been a proven method of preserving value when a national currency was losing value. If your investments are valued in a depreciating currency, allocating a portion to gold assets is similar to a financial insurance policy. In the past year, the climb in the price of gold above $1600 per ounce is due to many factors, one being that the dollar is steadily losing value.
- The dollar is weak and getting weaker due to national economic policies like quantitative easing , which don’t appear to have an end.