When markets melt down, investors tend to abandon speculative stocks and head for safer destinations. High-quality bonds or cash are often good options. Precious metals can also grow while the stock market shrinks. Some investors are nostalgic for earlier times when tangible assets looked safe as paper stocks fell.
One precious metal seems very compelling right now: Gold. For one, investors are fleeing the Euro and looking at other currencies. The Greece bailout has elevated sovereign risk on the European continent and elsewhere. The U.S. dollar is benefiting from the Euro’s woes, but so is gold.
Gold bugs are also sensing problems with the stock market. As a result, the U.S. Mint had the largest demand for gold coins in 11 years in May. This week gold rose to all-time highs yet again.
There are a few ways to play rising gold prices. The old-fashioned way was to buy bullion. Storage and other concerns have made this option less desirable for younger investors. You can also opt for gold-backed securities like the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD), in which assets are backed by physical gold held in trust for shareholders. Finally, you can invest in a company whose fortunes are tied to the yellow metal. Mining companies and mining funds (aka miners) are a very popular way to play gold.
The mining stock idea is why we’re bringing back an old pick: Goldcorp Inc. (GG). Goldcorp is a Vancouver-based gold mining company. It’s the 2nd largest gold producer measured by market capitalization weighing in at $32.5 billion. We recommended Goldcorp (GG) back in 2008 when it was trading at $30.62. Since then, it has risen more than +40%. We think GG’s stock valuation is still low considering the underlying pressures on gold prices and Goldcorp’s production capacity.
This Canadian gold producer hauls in around $2.85 billion in yearly revenue, very respectable for a mining stock. Yesterday, Goldcorp completed the sale of Escobal Silver Deposit to Tahoe Resources for $253 million and 40% ownership of Tahoe. This sale demonstrates Goldcorp’s commitment to growing their mining operations. We like management’s growth orientation and Goldcorp’s position for the future.
One caveat to our recommendation surfaced this week when Goldcorp shut down its Marlin mine in Guatemala. This mine is responsible for 11% of Goldcorp’s production – not a small share. The encouraging sign is the market shrugged-off potential issues with Guatemala by handing the shares a small gain for the day. We think the market is right. To go with a strong Canadian mining stock as gold prices surge, go long GG.