While the waterfall decline in gold stocks is painful for those of us already invested, the reality is that this is a setup we get a shot at only a few times in our investing life. It’s a cruel irony that those who are fully invested are now faced with the buying opportunity of a lifetime; however, it would be a shame for anyone to miss this blood-in-the-streets opportunity.
So writes Jeff Clark in edited excerpts from his original article* entitled A Rare Anomaly In The Gold Market.
[The following article is presented by Lorimer Wilson, editor of www.FinancialArticleSummariesToday.com and www.munKNEE.com and may have been edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and/or reformatted (some sub-titles and bold/italics emphases) for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. This paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.]
Clark goes on to say in further edited excerpts:
Mainstream analysts sometimes talk about book value, especially when a stock appears cheap. Book value (BV) is a metric that, in essence, sets the floor for a stock price in a worst-case scenario. BV is equal to stockholders’ equity on the balance sheet, and is the theoretical value of a company’s assets minus liabilities – sometimes you’ll hear this called “net asset value” (NAV) – so when a stock price yields a market capitalization (share price x number of shares outstanding) equal to BV, the investor has a degree of safety, because if it dropped lower, a buyer could theoretically come in, buy up all shares, liquidate the company’s assets, and pocket the difference.
Price to Book Value
Price to book value (P/BV) shows the stock price in relation to the company’s book value. A stock can be considered “cheap” when it is trading at a historically low P/BV. Or, even better, it can be considered objectively ” undervalued” when it is trading below book value.
Gold Producer Book Values
Given the renewed sell-off in the gold market, I wanted to see if gold equities were getting close to book values, not just because it would point to opportunity but also the margin of safety it would imply.
We analyzed the book value of all publicly traded gold producers with a market cap of $1 billion or more. The final list comprised 31 companies. We then charted book values from January 1, 2007 through last Thursday, June 27 (index equally weighted). Here’s what we found.
Gold Producer Stocks Dramatically Undervalued
The above chart makes clear the current dramatic undervaluation of gold stocks.
- As a group, gold producers are now selling below their book value.
- Based on this metric, gold stocks are now cheaper than they were at the depths of the 2008 waterfall sell-off.
- The chart doesn’t show it, but gold stocks were trading above book value (about 1.1x) when gold bottomed at $255.95 on April 2, 2001, which was the beginning of the bull market.
Here’s an even more dramatic fact:
- We went back as far as 1997 and could not find one episode where gold producers as a group traded below book value – and the late ’90s was known as the “nuclear winter” for the gold mining industry!
Needless to say, we’re in rare territory.
Don’t Miss This Blood-in-the-Streets Opportunity
Does this mean we should buy now? To be sure, book values fall when precious metals prices decline, and costs have risen substantially since 2001 as well, so it’s possible values could fall further. In that scenario the relationship between stock prices and book value would remain in rarified territory, making the anomaly even more appealing to a contrarian investor.
While the waterfall decline in gold stocks is painful for those of us already invested, the reality is that this is a setup we get a shot at only a few times in our investing life. It’s a cruel irony that those who are fully invested are now faced with the buying opportunity of a lifetime; however, it would be a shame for anyone to miss this blood-in-the-streets opportunity. Our future profits should be higher by an order of magnitude, when the market does turn around…
The extent to which each of us is able to take advantage of the opportunity shaping up is of course dependent upon our personal set of circumstances. For some, this might mean doing nothing; for others, it might mean being bold for the first time in their life. I suspect most readers fall somewhere in between.
The opportunity is clear: book values for gold producers are at rarely seen levels. Gold stocks may not reverse tomorrow or could get even cheaper when producers start reporting this quarters financial results, but history shows this opportunity will not last forever. It will probably never occur again in this cycle. Once gold turns it should be fantastically profitable.
[Editor’s Note: The author’s views and conclusions in the above article are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original post. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor.]
*http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/a-rare-anomaly-in-the-gold-market (© 2013 Casey Research, LLC; All rights reserved)
It’s been a tough road for precious metals but the path ahead has strong potential of being significantly profitable and in a short period of time. The buying opportunity that we’ve spoken of for months could be days away. When precious metals equities rebound, they rebound violently. Read More »
The precious metals complex is arguably at its most bearish sentiment since the start of the bull market 12 years ago. Either the bull market is over or this will prove to be a tremendous buying opportunity. It’s clear that anyone who doesn’t believe in Gold for the long-term has sold and judging from the sentiment indicators, Gold is now in much stronger hands than when it was trading at these prices at the 2012 and 2011 lows. Despite all of the bearish sentiment, the panic and bad-mouthing, Gold (and Silver) has maintained its consolidation. Thus, if Gold is able to hold this support and turn higher, it should approach $1750 to $1800 faster than one would think. This year will go down in history as one of the best buying opportunities for both the metals and the stocks. Words: 675; Charts: 3
Looking at the recent Gold Miners price action and crash-like conditions, I cannot hide my excitement. As we judge the recent cyclical bear market within the longer term secular uptrend, we can see that Gold Miners are becoming very attractive. Whether it is the technically oversold levels that only occur a handful of times over a generation, the rock bottom valuations on nominal or relative basis, or the extreme sentiment that the overall sector is going through, all of these indicators point to one conclusion: we are fast approaching a major buying opportunity. [I support that contention below with the use of 8 charts and a full explanation of each.] Words: 1133; Charts: 8
When gold goes up again, I believe we’ll find that the junior miners that have been crushed into the dust will be tomorrow’s value plays. Your goal, then, is to identify these “diamonds in the dustbin” today. Below are 8 ways I’m finding tomorrow’s gold value plays today. Read More »
While juniors, mid-tiers and large producers will usually bottom around the same time, they each outperform at different times. In this missive we look at some charts to decipher when its time to buy [each category and when one or the other] should be avoided. Words: 470
There is enough risk in investing without the added risk of political instability so why does the investment community often use the same metrics to value the shares of exploration and production of resources companies regardless of their location in the world? This is so very wrong, yet it continues. Frankly, when investing in the stock market you should ALWAYS discount the value of the stock that you are considering buying if the jurisdiction is not historically safe, stable, and economically strong. [Let me explain further.] Words: 746
The outlook for many junior resource companies in 2013 is grim so investors should focus on those who own quality undeveloped gold and silver deposits in safe stable countries. Such companies offer exceptional value in that they provide the best exposure to a rising precious metals price environment – and the assets the world’s mining companies desperately need. [Let me explain.] Words: 1328; Charts: 15 Read More »
The timing of this article may seem incongruous given the current weak performance of gold and gold stocks but that was the identical situation in each of the past manias – both the metal and the equities didn’t excel until the frenzy kicked in. The following documentation (exact returns from specific companies during this era are identified) is actually a fresh reminder of why we think you should hold on to your positions – or start accumulating them, if you haven’t already. (Words: 1987; Tables: 7)
Leverage is the simple answer. It is not uncommon for junior mining companies to experience huge gains (10x or more) very quickly as news of a discovery is made known to the public. Words: 893