Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) is an international mining company with interests in mining for gold, silver, copper, coal, iron ore, uranium, zinc and a host of other metals. Fundamentally it’s a Zacks #2 Rank. A quick look at the price and consensus chart gives me hope for the future. You can see the price tracked the consensus estimates and revisions relatively closely for the past four years. Estimates have slid along with prices for gold and silver since Q2 2011 and the stock sold off as a result. The recent consensus estimates have seen a bounce off the bottom as prices appear to be stabilizing. Should this trend continue it is very bullish for shares of RIO.
The technical chart on RIO reads bullish as well. The recent range from $51 to $57 looks to me like a consolidation after a big move from the low $40s. A break above $57 with volume would be a very bullish breakout. Failure to breakout would not be a sell signal but rather a chance to get in near the bottom of the recent consolidation range from $51-$53. A breakdown below $51 means you look for another stock to buy.
There is something about the name of this stock that soothes my nerves. Stillwater Mining (SWC) is engaged in mining operations in the Stillwater Complex in southern Montana. The area contains gold, copper, nickel, chromium, platinum and palladium. SWC is a Zacks #1 Rank and its last earning surprise was a whopping 425%. I want to show the price and consensus chart because it shares an important characteristic with RIO. Recent earnings revisions have seen upwards momentum for the first time since gold and silver began their decline. I think that a pattern is beginning to develop amongst analysts which only further supports the idea that gold may have already bottomed.
The price chart is temporarily bearish but that could change in a few days. I like the fact that the stochastics are oversold and awaiting a buy signal. I like the pull back and support at $12. What I don’t like is the speed of the fall from mid-January to today and I don’t like seeing the stock below the 25×5. This trade set up could take a couple weeks. I would need to see the stock get above the 25×5, pull back to it, then see a stochastic buy before I got on board. This is a perfect case of great fundamentals but I’ll pass on the technicals right now. In mid-December the stock set up perfectly for a buy around $11 which took the stock near $14. But it is not mid-December, it’s February so I would be patient for better technical timing.
If the first two examples were dipping your toes in the water on a possible gold rebound then this next stock is a cannonball from the high board. Franco Nevada Corp (FNV) is a gold focused royalty and stream company with some interests in platinum group metals. While this does not make it a 100% pure gold play, it does give it added risk to price movements in the base metal. The price and consensus chart looks the way you think it would given the other two examples. However, FNV has only been around since late 2011 so the chart is not as impactful. Being a newer operation, the analysts haven’t quite figured things out and the estimates have been all over the place historically. Recently, upwards revisions of some magnitude have helped push FNV into a Zacks #2 Rank.
On my chart I like what I see. The stock pushed above resistance at $48 and had been consolidating. It rested firmly above the 25×5 while the 25×5 had a very positive slope. Stochastics were beginning to come down from overbought levels as the stock consolidated between $48 and $50. I would buy today’s break out above $50. If you missed it, that’s alright too, a better opportunity will come with a pull back to the 25×5 coupled by confirmation from the stochastics. It is a healthy technical chart with sound fundamentals behind it.
The bottom line is if you believe in a possible recovery in gold prices these three stocks are all good ideas. With a little bit of patience you can find favorable entry points that will offer up the best risk versus reward scenarios. If gold continues to unwind, hopefully the diversification in the first two stocks will cushion any downside and a wisely set stop loss will protect you on FNV. With the chart set up on gold and the earnings revisions by analysts I think there is a relatively strong case for at least a consolidation in gold prices if not a reversal of the long term down trend.
FRANCO NV CP (FNV): Free Stock Analysis Report