Gold bug Eric Sprott’s increased stake in Newmarket Gold Inc. has renewed interest in the junior producer, which operates three mines in Australia. Investors are now looking for the Vancouver-based miner to fulfill its promise to boost production while controlling expenses and not overpaying for acquisitions, as the price of gold sits stubbornly at about $1,200 (U.S.) an ounce.
Shares of Newmarket, which merged with Crocodile Gold Corp. in July, have risen by about 13 per cent since the company said on Monday that Mr. Sprott bought 10 million shares to boost his ownership stake to 8.7 per cent. He purchased the stock from Luxor Capital Partners LP, which is still Newmarket’s largest shareholder, now with a 28.7-per-cent stake.
All 10 analysts who cover Newmarket have a “buy” recommendation. The analyst consensus price target over the next year is $3.03 (Canadian), which is about 23 per cent above its current price of $2.46. The stock is up about 82 per cent so far this year.
“As far as junior producers go right now, this is our favourite in the gold space,” said Raymond James analyst Chris Thompson, who has a $3.30 target on the stock, calling the valuation “cheap” compared with its peers in the junior mining space.
Mr. Thompson said the increased investment from legendary investor Mr. Sprott “provides a vote of confidence” in the company’s management and future valuation.
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