Last year, gold miners had been suffering harrowing losses as the precious metal was caught in a downward spiral. This year, however, the gold mining industry has been looking up on the back of an upward trend in gold prices, which drove the share prices of the gold mining companies. The trend was further underscored by the first-quarter 2016 performance of a few major gold producers like Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX – Analyst Report), Goldcorp Inc. (GG – Analyst Report), Newmont Mining Corporation (NEM – Analyst Report) and Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM – Analyst Report), each beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate comfortably.
Gold, which has jumped 17% in dollar terms in the first quarter, is being considered the best performing asset as of now, trumping major equity indices, investment grade, and high-yield bonds and commodity indices. This year’s rally in gold prices was primarily triggered by major volatility in global equity markets, weakness in China and its effect on the rest of the world.
Gold prices also benefited from strong investment inflows during the first quarter. In fact, this safe haven asset is still gaining amid turbulent economic conditions. Other factors fuelling gold prices include a weaker U.S. dollar and the Federal Reserve’s decision to slow down the pace of rate hikes in response to a weak global economy.
What do the Numbers Say?
As per the Zacks Industry classification, the gold mining industry is grouped under the Basic Material sector, one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors. As many as 90% of the companies in this sector have reported their numbers in the sector so far, recording a 16.2% plunge in earnings.
Nevertheless, the gold mining industry has contributed significantly to the sector’s strong blended ratio (the proportion of companies with both top- and bottom-line beats) of 38.9%, indicating an improved performance from the 4-quarter and 12-quarter averages of 8.3% and 21.3%, respectively. Including the results of the remaining 10% of the companies in this sector, the sector is expected to log a 15.8% decline in earnings in the first quarter. (Read more: How is the Earnings Picture Evolving?)
Although this forecast paints a gloomy picture for the overall sector, the gold mining industry is placed favorably with a Zacks Rank #54. Let’s see what’s in store for three gold miners that are set to report quarterly numbers on May 12. Will these companies be able maintain the growth momentum and put up a decent performance this quarter?
Canada-based intermediate gold producer, Alamos Gold (AGI – Snapshot Report) has three operating mines in North America. The company is slated to report first-quarter results before the market opens. Though Alamos Gold’s Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) increases the predictive power of ESP, its Earnings ESP of -50.00% makes a surprise prediction uncertain.
Its performance over the last four quarters has been disappointing. The company’s earnings met estimates in one out of the four trailing quarters and missed the same on three occasions, with an average negative surprise of 90.72%.
Based in Vancouver, Canada, B2Gold Corp. (BTG – Snapshot Report) is engaged in the exploration of gold, silver and copper deposits in Nicaragua, the Philippines, Namibia, Mali, Colombia, Burkina Faso, Finland and Chile. The company is scheduled to report results before the market opens.
B2Gold currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%, which makes it difficult to predict an earnings beat for this quarter. Over the past four quarters, the company has posted an average negative surprise of 100.00%.
Pretium Resources Inc. (PVG – Snapshot Report) is a Vancouver, Canada-based company that acquires, explores and develops precious metal resource properties across the American continent. Its mineral interests include gold, copper and silver exploration projects.
Notably, over the four trailing quarters, Pretium Resources has delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 2.08%. However, the combination of Pretium Resources’ Zacks Rank #2 and Earnings ESP of +0.00% makes an earnings beat uncertain this quarter.
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