The financial aftershocks of the catastrophic 2011 Japanese earthquake continue to ripple through the uranium market, which, six years later, cannot seem to escape its perpetual slump. The latest reprieve from the brutal selloff is starting to look like yet another false start, merely interrupting an otherwise downward trajectory.
Canadian uranium-mining champion Cameco Corp. itself sought to rein in the market’s budding enthusiasm by calling the Street’s earnings estimates unrealistic in mid-January and warning of a 2016 loss. How big a loss will be revealed when the company reports its financials this Thursday.
“I think it’s a no-touch situation from an investment perspective for at least a year,” said John Stephenson, president of Stephenson & Co. Capital Management.
Another bad year would extend a downtrend in Cameco’s shares that’s more or less been in place since March, 2011, when a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, triggering enormous tsunami waves that killed thousands and triggered meltdowns in the reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The accident brought about a global shift in attitudes toward nuclear power. As Japan shut down its entire nuclear industry – the third-largest in the world – other countries, such as Germany, also decommissioned reactors.
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