Gold prices keep smashing records giving miners hope they can escape the doldrums – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – April 19, 2024)

Stocks of the world’s largest miners have yet to catch the wave from bullion’s rise

The price of gold is smashing records on a near daily basis, yet that somehow hasn’t translated into higher profits for gold miners — at least not yet. Analysts and portfolio managers who cover gold miners say that after years of underperforming the price of bullion, the sector is finally turning a corner.

They have some evidence to support their optimism. The VanEck Gold Miners ETF, made up of the world’s largest gold miners, rose 10.5 per cent in the past month to US$33.17, roughly in line with the increase in the price of the precious metal to US$2,388 per ounce.

But even analysts recommending gold mining stocks are attaching caveats given the recent history of many companies in the sector including the largest one, Newmont Corp. “Newmont is now guiding that (gold) production will rise from here and costs will decline,” Citigroup Inc. analysts said in a note on April 3. “This was also the same message in 2021.”

The Colorado-based miner’s free cash flow per share declined every year between 2020 and 2023, even though gold prices rose during that time, Citigroup analysts said. They cited rising costs at mines, increased capital expenditures and declining gold production among the problems, adding some investors have cast doubt on whether Newmont will be able to meet its gold production targets.

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