Featured Post

Latest Gold News

Roxgold ups full year gold production guidance Understanding the Fed in 2 charts Schiff sees Fed balance sheet expanding, not shrinkin...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Andina Minerals Acquired by Hochschild


Canadian junior gold miner Andina Minerals (TSX-V:ASM) was acquired by Hochschild (LON:HOC), a mining company based in Peru. Hochschild paid $105 million 80¢ a share for Andina.

The takeover was a friendly one, as Andina and Hochschild already had a joint venture in place in Chile.

Andina probably accepted the deal because of its poor share performance, which stood at over the offered price earlier in 2012, and had traded as high as $5 a share in 2007 and 2008. Hochschild offer was about twice the closing Wednesday price of the gold miner.

Concerns over share dilution have weighed on the company as it sought capitalization of its Volcan gold property in Chile.

Cost inflation remains a challenge for all gold miners, with juniors being especially vulnerable. Of course that problem will be solved as the price of gold rises and companies focus on lowering production costs.

CEO, George Bee, said this in a statement, “After reviewing the alternatives available to our company, we believe that the offer is the best option for Andina shareholders.”

The Chilean Volcan project has about 6.6 million ounces in gold reserves itself, which had an estimated capital cost of $547 million in the early part of 2011. Since then costs have risen for other miners, making these types of deals more probable in the near future.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jim Rogers: Obama's Economic Disaster to get Worse


Now that Barack Obama has been re-elected President of the United States, billionaire commodity expert and investor Jim Rogers sees his disastrous economic policies as not only continuing, but making things much worse for Americans and the world in general.

More deficit spending means more economic problems for the United States asserts Rogers, who also says the global markets have probably already discounted the eventuality of a fiscal crisis in America.

Rogers has consistently stated that in 2013 and 2014 it's going to be very rough years for the United States economically.

"America is going to have a slowdown in 2013-14, there will be fewer jobs, more unemployment and turmoil in oil and currency markets," Rogers said.

Even so, Rogers says there is little doubt the so-called fiscal cliff in the country will get a quick fix by politicians, but in the end it'll make things even worse.

When queried about a possible downgrade of the economy of the United States, Rogers said it should have already been done in the minds of investors. "If you haven't downgraded America in your mind, you may do so," he concluded.

He sees no change in the practices of the Federal Reserve either, where he expects printing money out of thin air to continue as it has been.

Rogers sees hard assets as the place to be over the next ten years, with gold prices expected to continue to soar.

Along with his recommendation that investors get into agriculture, he also suggests metals as another strong place to put your money.

He has put his money where is mouth is, recently buying up agricultural land in Australia.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Van Eck: Gold and Miners About to Soar


Joseph M. Foster, who is the lead investment team member for its flagship fund, Van Eck International Investors Gold Fund, said in an interview with The Gold Report that he sees gold prices and gold mining companies, especially midtiers and junior stocks, as ready to soar.

Citing the implementation of QE3 as a catalyst for gold, whereby the price of gold has jumped about 6 percent since August 2012, and the fund he is lead investor on up close to 20 percent since August, he sees that as continuing to be the performance of the asset class and mining companies serving it.

When asked if he sees this performance continuing, Foster said this:

Yes, for a couple of reasons. First, the boards of the large gold companies that have been missing expectations have woken up to the fact that management changes are needed. Some very high profile CEOs and COOs have departed. There has been a shift in focus toward more profitability and less growth. That shift toward profitability, shareholder returns and returns on capital should bode well for the industry.
Second, costs could be coming more under control in the months to come. The slowdown in the global economy caused a slowdown in mining activity across base metals, coal companies and iron ore companies. More labor is now available. Lead times for equipment and materials are shorter. That should translate into less cost pressure as we move through 2013. That could be another catalyst for the industry.

Catalysts that have driven gold and silver up remain in place, according to Foster, and there is nothing to suggest the United States will stop running budget deficits in the trillion dollar range any time soon. Central banks around the world are addicted to stimulus, and interest rates aren't going to come down in the next several years.

Expectations are gold and silver prices will continue to be supported and rise, and that could go on for possibly another decade or so.

As for larger miners, they won't be as desirable a place to invest in until they get a better hold on costs and predictability. Until that happens and profitability becomes the focus, they won't be the best place to invest in within the parameters of gold.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Eldorado (EGO) (PXD) (SFY) (CNX) (PRU) (SUSP) (TOU) Ratings Changes


Eldorado Gold Co. (EGO), Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Swift Energy (SFY), CONSOL Energy Inc. (CNX), Perseus Mining Limited (PRU), Susser Petroleum Partners LP (SUSP) and Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU) had ratings on them adjusted by analysts.

Canaccord Genuity downgraded Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating. They have a price target of $111.00 on the company.

Global Hunter Securities downgraded Swift Energy (SFY) from a "Buy" rating to an "Accumulate" rating. They have a price target of $28.00 on the company.

Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on CONSOL Energy Inc. (CNX). They placed an "Equal Weight" rating and price target of $37.00 on the company.

Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on Eldorado Gold Co. (EGO). They placed an "Overweight" rating and price target of $19.00 on the company.

Fraser Mackenzie initiated coverage on Perseus Mining Limited (PRU). They placed a "Strong-Buy" rating and price target of $3.40 on the company.

Janney Capital initiated coverage on Susser Petroleum Partners LP (SUSP). They placed a "Buy" rating and price target of $27.00 on the company.

National Bank initiated coverage on Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU). They placed an "Outperform" rating on the company.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

IAMGOLD (IAG) Poised to Soar

IAMGOLD (NYSE: IAG) is as strongly positioned as any gold miner to take advantage of the misguided move by the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke to institute an open-ended stimulus program, which will acquire $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities on a monthly basis.

And if that doesn't work in the short term, the Fed hinted its ready to spend even more. Whether we agree with the action or not, we must take into account the implications for gold miners and the overall gold sector, adjusting our portfolios accordingly.

One such company that everyone interested in gold needs to consider is IAMGOLD. A number of traders recently poured money into call options on the company, seeing a bull move by the stock. In the last month alone it has jumped about 40 percent, and that's only the first stage of a big move which should end up with a double for those entering into the stock very soon.

The reason for the big upward move, other than the actions of the Federal Reserve, is a closer look at the resources held by the company, which have been undervalued by the majority of potential investors. That appears to have changed now, and the company and its investors are being rewarded handsomely.

IAMGOLD has been expanding its existing operations in anticipation of more stimulus measures from central banks around the world, and is about to bring online its Westwood mine. Probably the most overlooked property of the gold miner is its niobium mine and the accompanying rare earth elements, which will, over time, page huge dividends for the company.

For the longer term, IAMGOLD is also positioned to take advantage of acquisition opportunities that arise, as it enlarged its note offering recently to $650 million, which along with its current credit facilities, brings its total liquidity position to about $2 billion.

That means there is very little competition for those upcoming available properties the company can acquire to grow its resource pipeline. IAMGOLD was trading at $15.95, down $0.20, or 1.27 percent, as of 11:40 AM EDT.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gold Prices in QE3 Environment

Now that Ben Bernanke and the FOMC have implemented another round of quantitative easing - one that could go on indefinitely with the promise to purchase $40 billion in mortgaged-backed securities on a monthly basis - gold and silver prices are about to go ballistic, as there's absolutely nothing in the way now to keep them from resuming their upward climb.

Gold shot up by over $38 an ounce on the news, while silver climbed over 4 percent in response to the highly anticipated move, which was more aggressive than thought by most.

The U.S. dollar is about to reverse directions, set to weaken in response to the stimulus move.

As for gold in general, there is nowhere for prices to go except up, at least until there is a reversal in job numbers in the U.S., which could take years to improve if we are to measure it by the prior response to QE1 and QE2 by the U.S. economy.

What has been a volatile and unsure economic environment because of there being no response from the Fed in the recent past concerning more stimulus, has now become much more stable in the sense of knowing what is coming from the central bank in the near and long term.

That will result in investors moving into commodities in droves as they seek to protect their assets from inflation and the falling value of the U.S. dollar.

In the short term we'll also see a big boost in the equity markets, but that has a lot more risk to it with stimulus than commodities do.

Barrick Gold jumped, trading at $1.50, up 3.78 percent, as of 2.51 PM EDT. Silver Wheaton was at $38.22, up 2.00, or 5.52 percent, as of 2:52 PM EDT. Goldcorp (GG) was trading at $45.17, up $2.11, or 4.90 percent. First Majestic Silver was at $21.91, up $0.87, or 4.13 percent.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Barrick (ABX) (GG) (NEM) Jump on Stimulus Expectations

Gold giants Newmont Mining (NEM), Goldcorp (GG) and Barrick Gold (ABX) jumped on Friday after the August nonfarm payrolls report revealed a dismal month, with an anemic 96,000 jobs created, far below the 125,000 analysts were looking for.

Other commodities and related companies jumped as well, as it pointed towards the likelihood that Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve will institute another round of quantitative easing in hopes of jump starting the economy.

As for gold itself, on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the most active contract for December deliver jumped $34.90, or 2.1 percent, to settle at $1,740.50. The last time gold settled that high was on February 28.

If Bernanke does pull the stimulus trigger, when coupled with the potentially unlimited bond-buying program launched by the ECB, gold, silver, and other commodities will soar again in response.

But even if the Fed decides to wait till later in the year, it appears a floor has been placed under the market for now. The longer nothing else is down though, the shakier that floor will become.

Bernanke and the Fed probably only have one real shot left at making it appear they can do something to help the economy recover, so while it's probable there will be some type of stimulus offered next week, it's also possible the decision will be made to wait a little longer.

That would put some downward pressure on gold and silver, along with other commodities in the near term, but it probably won't take long to recover once investors realize it's only a matter of when, and not if, the stimulus will come.

Stocks on the other hand will get crushed if nothing is done be Bernanke.

Barrick Gold closed Friday at $40.16, gaining $1.16, or 3.0 percent. GoldCorp ended the session at $43.00, up $0.86, or 2.0 percent. Newmont Mining closed at $51.69, rising $.79, or 1.6 percent.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fed Awaits ECB and Payrolls Reports

The Thursday meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) is vitally important to the Federal Reserve and Chairman Ben Bernanke, as the promised response to the ongoing debt crisis in Europe will be a large part of what the Federal Reserve may or may not do at its meeting on September 12 and 13.

Ever since ECB President Mario Draghi promised to taek whatever action was needed to attempt to solve the debt crisis, it has placed support under the markets, which have awaited to see exactly what it is Draghi will do.

Also of importance to the actions of the Fed will be the payrolls report due on Friday, which will surely have a major impact on the decision of the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke going forward.

Already one major element has ramped up the possibility of QE3, which was the disappointing manufacturing numbers recently released by the Institute of Supply Management, which showed manufacturing in the U.S. contracted by the most in over three years. Some think this could be enough for Bernanke to pull the trigger next week.

If payrolls drop below 125,000, which appears to be the targeted number for a decision to be made, then it's very likely Bernanke will implement another round of quantitative easing.

A secondary element in the mix is exactly what the ECB does decide to do. If it's significant and deep, Bernanke and the Fed may get some wiggle room to wait till later in the year to throw more money into the U.S. economy.

While the typical reporting that opposition in Europe could suppress some actions, the recent past has proven that to be more political posturing for the sake of constituents, especially in Germany.

In the end, of the ECB implements strong measures, it will without a doubt pass again, even while the press reports it as being opposed by some in the euro zone.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jim Rogers Likes Silver More Than Gold at This Time

Billionaire commodity expert Jim Rogers reiterated his current stance on gold, saying he's looking more towards silver than gold as the better investment at this time, citing the fact that silver is down more than gold, and gold has also had a decade of increases, which means it is susceptible to a major correction.

As measured by an historic basis, silver is about "40 percent below its all-time high," says Rogers, adding that "gold is 10 percent to 15 percent below its all-time high."

In other words, he sees more upwards potential.

Even if there is more stimulus around the world, which is highly likely, and if gold gets a boost from that, silver is likely to get an even bigger boost from stimulus, especially as it would at least appear to renew industrial demand from manufacturers around the world.

Gold would benefit mostly from the safety and defense against inflation factors, while silver, on a secondary basis, would also benefit for the same reasons.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

ECB Making Plans for Bond Acquisitions

In the short term the announcement by ECB President Mario Draghi that the European Central Bank drew a yawn from the markets after his aggressive posturing recently on how he'll do anything to support the euro.

"The Governing Council, within its mandate to maintain price stability over the medium term and in observance of its independence in determining monetary policy, may undertake outright open market operations of a size adequate to reach its objective," said Draghi.

"The Governing Council will consider further non-standard monetary policy measures according to what is required to repair monetary policy transmission. In the coming weeks we will design the appropriate modalities for such policy measures," he added.

The Federal Reserve is also expected to make a move at its next meeting in September, as Chairman Ben Bernanke noted in the recent meeting that the U.S. economy was faltering and the central bank stands ready to take action when needed.

What this means is come the latter part of August and early September we should see a big upward move in stocks and commodities in response to the two probable initiatives by the ECB and the Federal Reserve.

The move by the ECB will probably be very close to the same move by the Fed.

With little reason for Bernanke waiting, it appears he's caved to pressure to wait until it could make the economy look better as the election approaches, giving a potential boost to Obama, who is in danger of losing the election in the midst of the disastrous economy and his atrocious economic policies.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fed Appears Ready to Stimulate

Although it could go either way, it's increasingly likely the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke are could act sooner rather than later in attempts to stimulate the economy with another round of quantitative easing.

The market responded to the news by jumping in the morning, pulling back as the day went on. The DJIA closed the day at 12,657.05, jumping 58.73, or 0.47 percent.

The NASDAQ didn't get much help, as Apple (AAPL) and Radio Shack (RSH) took big hits on disappointing earnings. It closed at 2,854.24, losing 8.57, or 0.31 percent.

For the S&P 500, it closed slightly down at $1,337.89, falling 0.42, or 0.03 percent.

Not unexpectedly, commodities jumped on the rising expectations of a sooner than expected stimulus, with gold, silver, copper and oil all settling up on the day.

Gold closed at $1,603, up $27.30, or 1.73 percent. Silver climbed to finish at $27.285, jumping $0.47, or 1.77 percent. Copper ended the session at $3.385, inching up $0.03, or 0.95 percent. Oil closed at $90.669998, up $0.61, or 0.68 percent.

The growing weakness of the U.S., European and Chinese economies has put pressure on the Fed to attempt to get the U.S. economy growing again, as the pace it's currently at isn't considered enough to strengthen it enough to grow on its own.

There is no longer a question of if the Fed will move, if some still believed that was the case (many oddly enough still do), but rather of how quickly to move and with what mechanism.

It's most likely it'll acquire mortgage-backed securities, but that's not a surety. Now that the economy is continuing to sputter, the Fed will probably attempt to make a statement by whatever means is uses to try to support the economy in a way that will inspire confidence. Anything too small would possibly be ignored or more detrimental than not doing anything at all.

For some time it was believed the Fed would wait until September before announcing any stimulus, but that is increasingly unlikely as each day goes by and pressure mounts for something to be done in light of its next meeting starting on July 31.

Now that the assumption the Fed will moved shored up the markets after three straight days of triple-digit losses, it's even more likely we'll see some action taken very quickly.

What is challenging for the Fed, and increasing the pressure on the institution is, do they wait until September and risk being perceived as weak and behind the times if the economy continues to tank, or do they wait for a couple of months to see which direction the economy goes.

I think the failure risk is too great for the Fed to wait. But we'll find out in a few days either way. My guess is they'll announce another round of stimulation next week.

Friday, July 13, 2012

China Growth Down for Sixth Straight Quarter

Growth in China fell for the sixth quarter in a row, dropping to 7.6 percent for the period. That's the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009.

While it was a little better than the market had concerns over, it was still down enough to keep the inevitable stimulus for that country alive, even as Europe and the United States will soon implement another round of quantitative easing.

That's good news for gold, silver, and some other commodities, as it certainly will push up the price of the metals in a big way, rewarding patient investors.

Gold and silver are positioned well with the economic decline, as they'll go up in price without a doubt because of the resulting fall in the value of the U.S. dollar, and the assumption the buying up of more bonds will help the economy.

It won't. But many traders will use it for an opportunity to push up the value of silver and gold, which will pull up the prices of base metals as well.

Some are spinning this as a triumph, which has taken the pressure off of China's need to aggressively stimulate its economy.

Assuming the numbers are fairly accurate, China, as do a number of nations, faces the problem of overestimating the health of their economy, which would result in its taking too long to respond to a weakening economy.

If that's what happens, the stimulus measures taken by a number of governments would be even more robust than before.

China has lowered interest rates and significantly cut back on imports in response to the slowing economy (some of that is related to stockpiling commodities in the prior months), suggesting their real assessment of their economy is it'll continue to slow down, as recent comments by Chinese official confirm when talking about declining exports, which are reflective of the weak global economy.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Is Gold About to Soar?

It may be time to get into gold again before the hoard starts pushing up the price and we end up chasing it for a much higher entry point.

This isn't built upon the idea of a possible stimulus happening sometime soon - although that would give it a nice push upwards - but rather upon how gold has been performing against major currencies.

Usually when gold is up against the majors, historically, not long afterwards it enters into a positive growth stage in price.

That has just happened over the last month, so gold should be poised for another upward run.

The good news is people are still largely negative on gold other than in relationship to the inevitable and upcoming implementation of QE3. But by time that happens everyone will be throwing money at gold and those late in the game will lose a lot of profits.

Obviously the key to making more money is to get in early.

With gold certain to soar again based upon stimulus measures alone, the inclusion of this currency signal, which has been historically wildly accurate and predictable, we could be on the verge of a huge upturn in gold.

And when the stimulus comes soon afterwards, it's unknown how high it could potentially go.

The currencies that gold is up against are the yen, U.S. dollar, British pound and the euro.

Merrill Lynch Predicts $2,000 Gold

With expectations the Federal Reserve will be forced to provide another round of quantitative easing, Merrill Lynch said they see the price of gold jumping to $2,000 an ounce.

According to Francisco Blanch, Head of Global Commodity & Multi-Asset Strategy Research at Merrill, he sees the Fed adding up to $500 billion more to its asset-purchasing program sometime in the second half of 2012.

Blanch said this on Squawk Box:

"We think that $2,000 an ounce is sort of the right number. We believe that ultimately the Fed will be forced to do quantitative easing. If it happens in September, as our economists expect, we will get a rally sooner in gold. If it happens after the election, we will get the rally a little bit later; probably we will touch $2000 an ounce sometime next year."

Many high profile investors concur with the bullish view on gold, as they assert the Federal Reserve and other central banks won't be able or willing to refrain from attempts at "stimulating" their economies, even though it had done nothing to help in the past.

That points to eventual inflation, which favors gold, silver, and other commodities which trade in U.S. dollars, which will also eventually plunge from its temporary lofty position.

Some people even think that when Ben Bernanke talks to Congress next week about the economy that he could at that time announce another stimulus package.

Since the U.S. dollar has risen to fast and high recently, Bernanke could in fact make a move next week, as he favors a weak dollar as his tactic for attempting to alleviate a recession.

Another factor on the U.S. side is the presidential election, where the horrible American economy threatens the reelection of Obama. There will be pressure behind the scenes to make it look like something is being done to address the issue in order for Obama to look good.

More stimulus is a certainty. It's only a matter of when, not if. At that time the price of gold will soar again, pulling up many other commodities with it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Goldcorp (GG) Lowers Production Guidance on Drought, Seismic Activity

Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) lowered its gold and by-product metal production estimates because of ongoing drought and seismic activity at its two leading mines.

For the year, Goldcorp dropped its overall production estimates from its previous guidance of 2.6 million ounces to a range of 2.35 million and 2.45 million.

Pressure came from its top Red Lake mining operations in the first half, while in the second half its Peñasquito property will be under pressure.

Because of decreased production expectations, the company altered its total cash cost guidance from $250 to $275 an ounce on a by-product basis to $310 to $340 an ounce; and from $550 to $600 an ounce to $625 to $650 an ounce on a co-product basis.

As for by-product metals, production guidance for copper remained the same at 110 million pounds. Silver production projections were lowered from 34 million ounces of silver to a range of 30 million to 31 million ounces; from 400 million pounds of zinc to a range of 310 million to 325 million pounds of zinc; and from 180 million pounds of lead to a range of 155 million to 160 million pounds.

CEO Chuck Jeannes said this about the two major mines:

"At Red Lake, we look forward to the resumption of mining in areas of the High Grade Zone that have been inaccessible due to de-stressing activities, but grade inconsistencies in the Footwall Zone experienced in the first six months of 2012 necessitate a conservative approach with regard to forecasting production during the second half of the year."

"At Peñasquito, the team is assessing opportunities to address water deficits as soon as possible. We are optimistic that sufficient water will be secured to accommodate long-term throughput forecasts but until those sources are secured, we have reduced the forecasts for ongoing throughput and production. We remain encouraged that the ore body continues to meet expectations with respect to grade and recoveries."

Expectations are plan production for the rest of 2012 at Peñasquito will be from 98,000 to 107,000 tpd, all of which will cut into gold, silver, lead and zinc production.

Year over year, gold production in the second quarter fell from 597,100 ounces to 578,600 ounces.

Shares of Goldcorp plunged by almost 10 percent Wednesday, dropping $3.58, or 9.74 percent, to $33.17.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gold Poised to Jump on Stimulus Hints

Gold and commodity prices soared Friday as European leaders announced they're going to recapitalize the banks in the region, although specifics of the deal weren't revealed.

In response, gold futures for August delivery climbed $53.80 to settle at $1,604.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver prices also soared, jumping $1.32 to settle at $27.61.

While it help prop up the markets in general, it also did with gold as well, as it basically supports the premise there will be much more stimulus going forward; presumably with a big dose coming sometime soon in the euro zone.

The announcement by the Federal Reserve that it would keep interest rates low through 2014 and continue on with its "Operation Twist," also teases and sends a signal to the markets that there will inevitably be more stimulus from that source as well.

With the EU, euro and euro zone fighting for its very survival, there isn't even a question as to whether or not there will be a stimulus, it's only a matter of when and how much.

For the United States, it's pretty much the same situation in the sense of slowing growth, and the Federal Reserve has stated it's ready to act in response to negative economic conditions, which are in fact already upon us, as growth rate estimates in the U.S. have been recently lowered.

The central bank cut its estimate for the 2012 gross domestic product growth to 1.9 to 2.4 percent, from 2.4 to 2.9 percent in April. Estimates for 2013 were lowered to 2.2 to 2.8 percent, compared to 2.7 to 3.1 percent in the prior projection.

All of this refers to speculation by the market that more quantitative easing is coming, and that will continue to provide support for gold, which already got a boost with the news out of the EU.

One major result from all of this will be for the euro to strengthen against the U.S. dollar, which will also provide impetus for the price of gold and other commodities to rise.

Pressure is mounting for stimulus action, and for better or worse it's going to come. The market is ready to reward gold and silver when that happens, as evidenced by the huge price increase on just a little good news from that point of few. What's going to happen when full-fledged stimulus is put into action again; especially when more than one part of the world does it? Friday's response by gold and silver prices give us a glimpse into what that will be.

Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) closed Friday at $37.57, rising $1.34, or 3.70 percent. Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) ended the session at $37.58, up $1.48, or 4.10 percent. Newmont Mining rose $1.39, to close at $48.51, gaining $2.95 percent. SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) ended the day at $155.19, up $4.14, or 2.74 percent.

iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) soared $1.02, gaining 3.98 percent to close at $26.65. Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW) exploded $1.35, jumping $5.30 percent, to end the day at $26.84. Endeavour Silver (NYSE: EXK) closed the day at $8.12, up $0.33, or 4.24 percent.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gold Mining Stocks About to Crumble?

The gold mining industry is poised to go through some shock, as the little talked about rise in gold production costs is hitting the industry hard, and is only going to get worse going forward.

Taking a major hit from the fallout surrounding rising production costs was Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) CEO Aaron Regent, who was recently fired because of his inability to keep costs at a lower level.

While it wasn't explicitly cited as the reason, it definitely was implicitly suggested as the impetus behind the move.

That is supported by the production cost numbers, which have jumped by 22 percent over the last year, to $560 an ounce, soaring from the $460 an ounce it cost to produce an ounce of gold last year.

Even these figures are about 6 months behind the current cost levels, which are estimated to have soared to about $1,000 an ounce in production costs, and more for some gold mining companies.

According to AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU) CEO Mark Cutifani, gold production as measured by total cost basis is "running at about $1,200. The industry average is probably around $1,250 an ounce."

Iamgold (NYSE: IAG) CEO Steve Letwin concurs with those numbers, saying, "It's going to be difficult for anybody to produce gold at less than $1,200 an ounce."

Not only are all the usual production costs rising in the industry, like labor, mine infrastructure, heavy equipment, utilities, fuel, permits and drilling, but the process of reaching quality gold deposits are rising as well, based upon the fact companies are having to dig deeper and deeper to reach them. Coupled together, these are the causes in increased gold production costs that aren't going to go away any time soon.

Add to that corrupt governments which can wait until all the money is spent and production begins before they suddenly change their tax structures to basically steal money from the miners, and you have another volatile situation added to the mix.

The reason I mention this is because the idea the gold miners have been lagging the rise in the price of gold has been used as a reason to invest in the miners because it is felt it is inevitable that the price of the gold mining stocks will follow the price of gold upwards.

But the real reason the gold miners haven't been doing well is the soaring production costs, which have disallowed what appeared to be a logical move up in share price of the companies.

Assuming you want are invested or want to invest in gold miners, the key number to look at on a quarterly basis are the production costs of the companies. That will be the key for profitability for them, even when gold starts to rise in price again.

Seeing that costs have climbed so high, so quickly, gold could reach about $2,000 an ounce and it would only bring the gold miners back to where they were in 2010 and 2011 as far as production costs versus the price of an ounce of gold.

If the price of gold remains level, or even drops in the short term, we'll see some gold miners begin to go bankrupt over the next few years, as they simply can't operate with a profit at these cost levels.

On June 30, 2008, Barrick Gold was trading at $45.09. As of this writing it's trading at $35.76. So unless you got in below $20 in October 2008, you would have made very little money, if any, over a four-year period. Most likely you would have lost money.

So are there any good gold mining investments? Those that will bring shareholder value will be those that are best able to manage production costs. That will be measured, for the most part, by those with the best mines, and least amount of production costs needed to extract the gold.

Some companies are positioned well in this area, so be sure to perform due diligence concerning the gold mining companies you're taking a look at.

Are there other ways to invest in a gold stock that could offer better returns? Sure. I would look at gold streaming companies such as Royal Gold (NASDAQ: RGLD), which is tied more into the price movements of gold, and incurs little risk on the production side. The risk for streamers lies in the production of a particular mine or mines, not the costs associated with it.

What about the eventual return to rising gold prices? That will happen, as central banks around the world won't allow the global ecomomy to go on as it is without putting up a fight by throwing more money at it.

There is also the surety of more bailouts in the euro zone, which will push up the price of gold. Add to that the announcement by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that interest rates will remain where they are until 2014, and there are all the elements in place for gold prices to rise.

The artificially bloated U.S. dollar will come crashing down again once stimulus measures are resumed, and then gold will continue its upward rise in price.

What the question is for all gold miners is if it will increase enough to significantly offset the rise in production costs.

Whatever the answer, those gold miners with those costs best under control will be the winners in the future, while those that aren't able to contain costs, will likely fall by the wayside by declaring bankruptcy.

At that time interesting things will happen, as significant gold reserves could be made available to the better run companies.

For now investors in gold miners need to be even more vigilant as usual, and be sure to know as accurately as they can, what the real production costs of the miners are, as that will determine profitability and whether or not they'll survive over the next several years.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Newmont (NEM) (GG) (EGO) Trade Mixed as Economic Uncertainty Continues

Shares of Newmont Mining (NEM), Goldcorp (GG) and Eldorado Gold (EGO) were trading mixed today as the price of gold moved slightly positive and negative on the day, with fears continuing to affect the markets.

Many gold miners, including the above-mentioned three, started June off with a bang, as the gold miners started to catch up some with the price of gold, which they have been lagging for some time.

The miners took a hit the last couple of days on news there would be no quantitative easing in the near future, although so-called "Operation Twist" was extended.

So investors chose to place their money in U.S. dollars, as safety is the primary thing on their minds at this time, even though the U.S. dollar is a very flawed and weak currency itself.

Once the Federal Reserve announced little would be done to aid the economy, investors were forced to sell their gold to cover their losses.

The reason gold isn't plummeting in price is because the market still believes there will be another round of quantitative easing. It's only a matter of when, most believe, not if.

With the commitment by the Fed to wait until 2014 at minimum before boosting interest rates, any type of stimulus would send the price of gold, along with other commodities, soaring, as the dollar would drop in value and people would look for protection against inflation.

While it's highly probable the Fed could add stimulus to the economy, it has done virtually nothing in the recent past, and adding hundreds of billions to the national debt while doing nothing to help is something even Ben Bernanke appears slow to want to implement.

The other side of the argument is the extremely weak American economy, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, the high unemployment in the U.S., and the ongoing weakness in the Chinese economy. All of that is what investors and economists look at when being almost certain more stimulus is in the near future.

Then you have to consider the presidential election in the U.S., as well as other national elections around the world to ascertain the liklihood of more quantitative easing.

In China its factory segment contracted for the eigth month in a row, as did the business sector in the euro zone for the fifth straight month, while the manufacturing sector in the United States dropped to its lowest level in almost a year.

Just as the price of gold has been flittering back and forth at a flat level, so has the share price of Newmont Mining (NEM), Goldcorp (GG) and Eldorado Gold (EGO), which were slightly down and up during the trading day.

Eldorado Gold was trading at $12.35, up $0.10, or 0.82 percent, as of 3:43 PM EDT. Goldcorp was at $37.04, down $0.13, or 0.35. Newmont was trading at $47.98, gaining $0.18, or 0.38 percent.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gold Poised to Rise on Central Bank Stimulus Expectations, Safety

With weak economic data coming in from China and the United States, and the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe, it appears the probability of even more stimulus will be inevitable.

The presidential election in the United States, which is increasingly competitive, and could result in Obama getting routed as the economy continues to fall apart and he panders to his radical base.

It's highly improbable that more austerity will be put in place before elections, although some in the euro zone remain adamant about it, with the most important player - Germany - continuing to resist eurobonds without more controls in place.

Even then it's uncertain the euro zone will be allowed to go forward with the idea that all the countries can spend and go into debt with impunity, while the rest of the countries share their risk.

That won't work over time, but it could be attempted and put in place because of the politically religious commitment to the euro and the European Union, which both are in danger of collapsing.

Consequently, with expectations of more stimulus growing, currencies are coming under pressure again, with the U.S. among them, providing a positive environment for the rise in the price of gold and silver.

With the U.S. dollar losing appeal, gold is again rising in importance for the place to safely place capital. There really is no other alternative when the dollar falls out of favor, as most other currencies are in even worse shape.

Gold miners are also getting a closer look from investors, as they have been hit hard by the recent fall in price of gold.

A couple of companies receiving recent analyst attention are Randgold Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ: GOLD) and Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY).

Randgold was upgraded by Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) from a "Sell" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Yamana Gold was downgraded by Dundee from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Spain Gets $125 Billion Bailout from Euro Zone

The question about Spain's economic future has been answered in the short term, as finance ministers in the euro zone came to an agreement to lend the country up to $125 billion to shore up its weakened banks.

While it wasn't a total surprise Spain would get aid, the amount did raise some eyebrows, as it was a lot more than expected.

Even though there is up to $125 billion on the table, the exact amount to be lent is still being hashed out, and won't be decided for about a week.

This of course will be hailed as a great moment, but in fact it is a disaster, and will exasperate the financial health of the region over time.

Until there are significant austerity measures taken over time, there will be no solutions to Europe's economic woes, as Keynesianism has proven to be a failed economic theory and practice.

The amount announced to be on the table for Spain was for media consumption and dissemination, as it will help to calm extremely jittery markets, as fear of contagion was reaching a fever pitch, almost as bad as the very real contagion itself, that has only had the can kicked down the road once again, only delaying the inevitable day of reckoning.

The upcoming Greek elections on June 17 could rain a lot on the euro zone parade if the people of the country vote for the country to leave the zone.

Greece isn't too important, as its economy is rather small and insignificant in contrast to Spain's, but it could be the first domino to fall in what will eventually become a string of dominoes.

That's not really a bad thing, as Europe would be much stronger without the deadbeat nations attempting to extract more money from the productive European nations.

It'll be fun to see the pathetic dream of those wanting a one-world order blasted apart by the inevitable, upcoming events. Hang onto your seat, it's going to be a fascinating ride as it unfolds.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Forget India, China Gobbling Up Gold

Even though financial writers have been pointing to weak gold consumption in India recently, the fact is, historically, it really hasn't played much part in the movement of the price of gold, other than the seasonal impact it annually makes on the price of the metal.

China, in my opinion, is a much different story, as the Chinese government encourages its people to buy physical gold, and the government itself has been buying it up at an ever-quickening pace.

A recent note from HSBC (NYSE: HBC) said the Chinese have boosted their gold coin acquisitions from 5 kg in March to 1,857 kg in April; a huge increase by any measure.

I don't think India is weighing on anyone's minds in reference to the price of gold, as everyone that understands what's going on is looking to which governments will implement another round of quantitative easing.

That, more than anything, will cause the price of gold to skyrocket.

Much of that is centered in the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, which continues to deteriorate, with no real answers to the problem but continuing to implement austerity measures until spending comes in line with reality.

Growing pressure on Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel to basically underwrite the outrageous spending and out-of-control benefits thrown at many people in the European Union, via eurobonds, points to the euro zone no longer really being valid. It's a joke, and gold could benefit from that exponentially if stimulus again rears it's ugly head, which many in the region are proposing, moving away from the austerity demanded by Germany from other deadbeat countries.

Merckle says it's the lack of competitiveness in the region that is the problem, not throwing more money at criminally irresponsible governments who have made promises they in no way are able to keep.

That's why they want the eurobonds, as it would require the harder working and more productive nations to underwrite the socialist and fascist nations of Europe without those nations having to pay for their horrid decisions.

Merkel chastised the leaders in the region for using the billions in stimulus already spent on consumption, instead of dealing with the lack of competitiveness and implementing real reforms.

She said, “The freedom created by this situation wasn’t exploited to improve long-term competitiveness. Instead, the time was used to spend too much money in consumption and too little time in tackling reforms.”

With all of Europe embracing Keynesianism, even the UK and France are calling for more stimulus and the acceptance of eurobonds. It's an incredible time with the fallout sure to be extraordinary.

More stimulus would obviously be a continuation of the failed economic policies of the region, yet most nations continue to call for more. They better be careful, they may just get what they ask for.

Merkel's right. If there are no changes in attitude and practice, throwing more money at it won't do anything to change the economics, it'll only give a short-term boost which will then have to be paid for as the enormous debt of the nations continue to rise.

This is all about politics, and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out as more and more politicians come up for re-election in their respective countries.

For gold prices, it could, and probably will, shoot through the roof if more stimulus is not only put on the table, but implemented.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Is Kinross Gold (KGC) a Bargain?

Kinross Gold has been getting crushed since early September of 2011, dropping over $10 a share since that time.

Some of that is from the plunge in gold prices, but more specific to the company is the negative response to the low-grade envelope surrounding the gold at its Tasiast mine.

Kinross took a writedown of $2.49 billion in its latest quarter, partially in reference to the mine, which has put a lot of downward pressure on the share price of the company. There were other reasons for the writedown, but that was a part of the equation.

What's interesting about this is the fact that the amount of gold reserves at the mine have been confirmed to be approximately 20 million ounces. That's far above the estimated 8 million ounces believed to be in the mine at the time Tastiast was acquired by Kinross.

It appears the challenges of accessing the major gold reserves is one that can be overcome, and once it is, it should put Kinross in an enviable position.

Other than time, the major challenge will be how the company can access the gold reserves and reasonable costs.

Once that's accomplished, the company is strongly positioned for some significant growth into the future.

It seems this problem should be able to be taken care of, and assuming gold will at minimum retain its price (it could even drop significantly lower), Kinross is positioned for some long-term growth, which should result in the share price rebounding over time.

There continue to be many questions concerning Europe and the strength of the euro against the U.S. dollar, but there is almost sure to be more quantitative easing, and when that happens, gold prices are sure to go up.

But even if price remain level or drop several hundred more dollars an ounce, the size of reserves held by Kinross bodes well for the company.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Xstrata (XTA) Offering Mick Davis $78.2 Million

With the merger between Glencore (LSE:GLEN) and Xstrata (LSE:XTA) set to be voted on soon, news that Xstrata CEO Mick Davis will receive a bonus package valued at approximately $78.2 million has been announced by the company, according to the Financial Times.

At this time the deal is expected to go through, although there are a number of things that could derail it, including the rejection of the giant bonus package offered Davis by Xstrata shareholders.

The payout would be over a three-year period, which would be guaranteed and not connected to performance.

Documents detailing the $30 billion deal will be released to shareholders this week.

Glencore, which owns just under 34 percent of Xstrata at this time, is offering 2.8 new shares for every one share of Xstrata.

It appears at this time the company won't be increasing the offer, although it has up that option up to several days before the shareholder vote.

If the merger goes through, it would make the new entity the fourth-largest mining company in the world.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Are Goldcorp (GG)'s Problems Temporal?

The weak performance in the last quarter had analysts berating Goldcorp (NYSE:GG), making the company to appear to be facing a major disaster, rather than a probable minor blip that they are dealing with at this time.

Production issues at its Red Lake mine resulted in a drop in gold production of about 70,000 ounces from the same quarter in 2011. Another negative was the boost in production costs from $188 an ounce to $251 an ounce.

That isn't as important, as most gold miners experienced similar boosts in costs.

Goldcorp CEO Chuck Jeannes said this about the quarter, "Solid operating results throughout most of our mine portfolio were offset by a challenging first quarter at Red Lake."

Assuming this is an accurate assessment of the performance of the company, the problems at Goldcorp appear very solvable, and not as challenging as they have been portrayed to be.

That means the company could have been oversold, making the current price a good entry point for investors.

It is highly likely the shares of the company are poised to rebound, especially if the performance of the rest of the company remains in tact and Red Lake begins to add to production.

Goldcorp has been bouncing off its recent 52-week low of $32.16, as traders pushed down the price of the stock.

As of 11:51 AM EDT, it was trading at $37.32, down $0.17, or 0.46 percent.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Barrick (ABX) (EGO) (NEM) Jump Monday

After starting off strong on Monday, gold futures were up and down the rest of the session, closing the day at $1,588.70 per ounce for June delivery, down slightly from Friday's close.

Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX), Eldorado Gold (NYSE:EGO) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) all finished up on the day, as the U.S. dollar fell against the euro.

It appears gold is ready to move up again after it dropped to $1,527 an ounce last week, the lowest level in 2012. That reversed significantly when gold traders scrambled to cover their short positions.

Expectations are when gold prices move slightly above $1,600, investors will jump back into the gold market.

Even so, the volatility of the price of gold because of the perceived safety of the U.S. dollar, which has been strengthening of late, along with the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, has investors jittery, and most are buying on dips until they get more clarity.

It's highly probable the greenback will weaken sometime soon, as it's a flawed currency itself, although it's been strong against the euro lately because of the financial crisis in the euro zone.

The question is whether the U.S. dollar will rebound yet again as the euro falters in full view of the world.

If it does, it makes gold more expensive for other currencies, putting even more downward pressure on it.

Until the crisis in Greece is resolved, we'll see this being the ongoing scenario. Much of this is now driven by headlines.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Soros Plows Back into Gold (GLD)

The schizophrenic words and actions of George Soros are back in play, as the billionaire investor, contrary to comments made in the recent past that gold is the "ultimate asset bubble," has now poured capital into the yellow metal again, presumably because it's probably nearing the end of its correction.

Even if the correction has some more room to run, there's no way to time how low it will go, so entering now, before he has to start chasing it, is a wise decision.

The major move by Soros into gold is the increasing of the holdings of his hedge fund in SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD) from SPDR Gold Trust from 85,450 shares in the fourth-quarter to 319,550 shares in the first-quarter, according to Fox Business.

He reportedly also opened up "a new position through call options in Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM)," adding significant exposure to gold there.

This of course contradicts Soros' words, which proves one needs to watch what is being done rather than what is being said.

There is no gold bubble yet, neither are we close to one. As Soros former business partner Jim Rogers recently said, the gold bull market is far from being over. He's right.

Short term, because of gold and silver prices being driven by headlines from the European sovereign debt crisis, we'll see a lot of volatility in the prices, mostly because the U.S. dollar temporarily continues to perform strongly against the euro as people view it as the best place to safely put their capital.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

India Gold Jewelry Demand Falls 19 Percent

Gold jewelry demand in India dropped 19 percent in the first quarter of 2012, while gold investment demand plummeted 46 percent during the same period.

The horribly inefficient and anti-business Indian government announced it's going to slap a 10 percent duty on non-standard gold and gold jewelery, and another 4 percent import tax on bullion.

In response to the plans, Indian jewelers participated in a nation-wide strike for three weeks to protest the proposed actions.

This has created a volatile gold market in India, resulting in bullion dealers allowing their stock to contract because of the unknown consequences of the government interference in the market place.

After the uproar the Indian government backed down on the 10 percent excise duty on jewelry that isn't branded.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jim Rogers: Gold Bull Market Not Through Yet

In an interview with Forbes, billionaire Jim Rogers was asked what his thoughts on gold were.

Rogers noted that it's unusual for any asset class to continue to go up for eleven years in a row like gold has, so it's not surprising to him that we are going through a period of correction, which Rogers believes will probably continue for a time.

There has been a flight to the U.S. dollar for safety as the euro drops in value against it. That has been the major impetus for the fall in gold prices.

Rogers also adds that the "The Indians are coming down hard on gold, and they’re the largest consumer of gold in the world."

He thinks that will keep pressure on gold for now, and he asserts that "if it goes down further – I hope I’m smart enough to buy more. To buy a lot more."

In the past Rogers has said if the price of gold falls below $1,600 an ounce, he'll become a buyer again. As of this writing gold is trading at just above $1,551 an ounce, suggesting Rogers has probably already been buying gold.

His conclusion is the gold bull market is far from over yet, and he'll continue to be a player, saying he continues to be a buyer and not a seller, although he is now thinking about hedging gold.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Randgold's (GOLD) Hammering Continues

Following its record breaking previous quarter, shares of Randgold Resources (NASDAQ: GOLD) continues to get pummeled by investors after its latest quarter results revealed the company profits were down by 28 percent and its gold production down 13 percent over the previous quarter.

So far it hasnt mattered to investors that the company profits were up 126 percent over the first quarter of 2011.

That hasn't influenced JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), which upgraded it from an "Underweight" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Since its report on May 3, Randgold had plunged from $86.40 a share down to $77.37 a share, as of 1:56 PM EDT. It is down $3.55, or 4.39 percent on the day so far.

It appears the company is now being oversold.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

AngloGold (AU) (KWK) (RRC) (RY) (RF) (FITB) (COF) (HBAN) Ratings, Price Targets

AngloGold Ashanti (AU), Quicksilver Resources Inc (KWK), Range Resources (RRC), RBC Capital (RY), Regions Financial Corp (RF), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), Capital One (COF) and Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (HBAN) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

TheStreet downgraded AngloGold Ashanti (AU) to a "Hold" rating.

Howard Weil downgraded Quicksilver Resources (KWK) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Societe Generale initiated coverage on Range Resources (RRC). They placed a "Buy" rating on the company..

Bank of America upgraded RBC Capital (RY) from an "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating. They have a price target of $65.00 on the company.

Miller Tabak upgraded Regions Financial Corp (RF) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Deutsche Bank upgraded Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) from a "Hold" rating to a "Buy" rating.

JPMorgan Chase upgraded Capital One (COF) from an "Neutral" rating to an "Overweight" rating. $70.00

Susquehanna downgraded Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (HBAN) from a "Positive" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Agnico (AEM) (IVN) (FSLR) (ACI) (NFX) (ARLP) Ratings, Price Targets

Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (AEM), Ivanhoe Mines Ltd (IVN), First Solar, Inc. (FSLR), Arch Coal, Inc. (ACI), Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX) and Alliance Resource (ARLP) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Zacks downgraded Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (AEM) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Underperform" rating.

TD Securities upgraded Ivanhoe Mines Ltd (IVN) from a "Reduce" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) from a "Sell" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Arch Coal, Inc. (ACI) from an "Equal Weight" rating to a "Underweight" rating.

Barrington Research initiated coverage on Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX). They placed an "Outperform" rating and a price target of $44.00 on the company.

Raymond James upgraded Alliance Resource (ARLP) from a "Market Perform" rating to a "Strong-Buy" rating.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Eldorado (EGO) (ANR) (FCX) (RRC) (CHK) (TC) Ratings, Price Targets

Eldorado Gold Co. (EGO), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold (FCX), Range Resources (RRC), Thompson Creek Metals (TC) and Chesapeake Energy (CHK) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

TD Securities upgraded Eldorado Gold Co. (EGO) to a "Buy" rating.

Citigroup upgraded Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Citigroup upgraded Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold (FCX) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Macquarie upgraded Range Resources (RRC) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Outperform" rating.

UBS AG upgraded Thompson Creek Metals (TC) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Citigroup downgraded Chesapeake Energy (CHK) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

ENSCO (ESV) (EP) (PVA) (PVR) (JEC) (KMI) (FELE) (SF) Ratings, Price Targets

ENSCO PLC (ESV), El Paso Corporation (EP), Penn Virginia (PVA), Penn Virginia (PVR), Jacobs Engineering (JEC), Kinder Morgan (KMI), Franklin Electric Co. (FELE) and Stifel Financial Corp. (SF) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Jefferies Group upgraded El Paso Corporation (EP) from a "Hold" rating to a "Buy" rating. They have a price target of $35.00 on the company.

Capital One upgraded Penn Virginia (PVA) to a "Neutral" rating.

Wells Fargo & Co. upgraded Penn Virginia (PVR) from an "Outperform" rating to an "Outperform" rating.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Jacobs Engineering (JEC) from an "Overweight" rating to a "Neutral" rating. They have a price target of $52.50 on the company.

Tudor Pickering downgraded Kinder Morgan (KMI) from an "Accumulate" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Ladenburg Thalmann initiated coverage on Franklin Electric Co. (FELE). They placed a "Buy" rating and a price target of $60.00 on the company.

Wells Fargo & Co. initiated coverage on Stifel Financial Corp. (SF). They placed a "Market Perform" rating on the company.

Williams Capital initiated coverage on ENSCO PLC (ESV). They have a "Buy" rating and a price target of $74.00 on the company.

Eldorado (EGO) (GOLD) (TC) (BAC) (RJF) (DB) (FGP) Ratings, Price Targets

Eldorado Gold Co. (EGO), Randgold Resources Ltd. (GOLD), Thompson Creek Metals (TC), Bank of America (BAC), Raymond James (RJF), Deutsche Bank (DB) and Ferrellgas Partners (FGP) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Canaccord Genuity upgraded Eldorado Gold Co. (EGO) from a "Hold" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Randgold Resources Ltd. (GOLD) from a "Hold" rating to a "Buy" rating. They placed a price target of $110.00 on the company.

Deutsche Bank upgraded Thompson Creek Metals (TC) from a "Sell" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Guggenheim upgraded Bank of America (BAC) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating. They placed a price target of $11.00 on the company.

Wells Fargo & Co. initiated coverage on Raymond James (RJF). They have an "Outperform" rating on the company.

TheStreet upgraded Deutsche Bank (DB) to a "Hold" rating.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. initiated coverage on Ferrellgas Partners (FGP). They placed an "Underweight" rating and a price target of $12.00 on the company.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Newmont (NEM) (GG) (KGC) (JAG) (IVN) (STVZF) (PPP) Ratings, Price Targets

Newmont Mining Co. (NEM), Goldcorp Inc. (GG), Kinross Gold (KGC), Jaguar Mining (JAG), Ivanhoe Mines Ltd (IVN), Silvercrest Mines (STVZF) and Primero Mining Corp. (PPP) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Citigroup downgraded Newmont Mining Co. (NEM) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Citigroup initiated coverage on Goldcorp Inc. (GG). They have a "Neutral" rating on the company.

Citigroup initiated coverage on Kinross Gold (KGC). They have a "Buy" rating on the company.

RBC Capital downgraded Jaguar Mining (JAG) from a "Sector Perform" rating to an "Underperform" rating.

BMO Capital Markets downgraded Ivanhoe Mines Ltd (IVN) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Roth Capital initiated coverage on Silvercrest Mines (STVZF). They have a "Buy" rating on the company.

BMO Capital Markets upgraded Primero Mining Corp. (PPP) from a "Market Perform" rating to an "Outperform" rating.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hecla (HL) (MTL) (MT) (POT) (AGU) (PAAS) (AXP) Ratings, Price Targets

Hecla Mining (HL), Mechel (MTL), ArcelorMittal (MT), Potash (POT), Agrium Inc. (AGU), Pan American Silver (PAAS) and American Express (AXP) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

BNP Paribas upgraded ArcelorMittal (MT) from an "Underperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

UBS AG downgraded Mechel (MTL) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on Potash (POT). They placed a "Buy" rating and price target of $56.00 on the company.

Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on Agrium Inc. (AGU). They placed a "Buy" rating and price target of $105.00 on the company.

Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on Hecla Mining (HL). They placed a "Hold" rating and price target of $5.50 on the company.

BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on Pan American Silver (PAAS). They placed an "Outperform" rating and price target of $35.00 on the company.

Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded American Express (AXP) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Agnico (AEM) (SCCO) (BAC) (UBS) (HWD) (FRC) (FHN) Ratings, Price Targets

Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (AEM), Southern Copper (SCCO), Bank of America (BAC), UBS AG (UBS), Harry Winston Diamond (HWD), First Republic Bank (FRC) and First Horizon National Co. (FHN) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Global Hunter Securities initiated coverage on Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (AEM). They place a "Buy" rating and a price target of $46.00 on the company.

Morgan Stanley upgraded Southern Copper (SCCO) from an "Equal Weight" rating to an "Overweight" rating.

Robert W. Baird downgraded Bank of America (BAC) from an "Outperform" rating to an "Neutral" rating. They have a price target of $10.00 on the company.

ISI Group downgraded UBS AG (UBS) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

BMO Capital Markets downgraded Harry Winston Diamond (HWD) from an "Outperform" rating to an "Market Perform" rating.

BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on First Republic Bank (FRC). They placed an "Outperform" rating on the company.

Sterne Agee upgraded First Horizon National Co. (FHN) from an "Underperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dendreon (DNDN) (BHI) (HFC) (WY) (EXM) (PKD) Ratings, Price Targets

Dendreon Co. (DNDN), Baker Hughes (BHI), HollyFrontier Corp (HFC), Weyerhaeuser (WY), Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd (EXM) and Parker Drilling Company (PKD) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded Baker Hughes (BHI) from a "Outperform" rating to an "Market Perform" rating.

Raymond James downgraded HollyFrontier Corp (HFC) from a "Outperform" rating to an "Underperform" rating.

Scotia Capital downgraded Weyerhaeuser (WY) from a "Sector Perform" rating to an "Underperform" rating.

Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage on Dendreon Co. (DNDN). They placed a "Hold" rating and a price target of $11.00 on the company.

Imperial Capital initiated coverage on Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd (EXM). They placed an "Underperform" rating and price target of $1.14 on the company.

Sidoti initiated coverage on Parker Drilling Company (PKD). They placed a "Buy" rating on the company.

DTE (DTE) (TE) (WEC) (WFT) (WR) (LNT) Ratings, Price Targets

DTE Energy (DTE), TECO Energy, Inc. (TE), Wisconsin Energy (WEC), Weatherford (WFT), Westar Energy, Inc. (WR) and Alliant Energy (LNT) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Macquarie upgraded DTE Energy (DTE) from a "Neutral" rating to an "Outperform" rating.

Macquarie upgraded TECO Energy, Inc. (TE) from an "Underperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Barclays Capital upgraded Wisconsin Energy (WEC) from an "Equal Weight" rating to a "Overweight" rating.

Simmons upgraded Weatherford (WFT) to an "Overweight" rating.

Barclays Capital upgraded Westar Energy, Inc. (WR) from an "Equal Weight" rating to a "Overweight" rating.

Barclays Capital upgraded Alliant Energy (LNT) from an "Equal Weight" rating to a "Overweight" rating.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Randgold (GOLD) (ANR) (DB) (DFS) (GS) (COR) Ratings, Price Targets

Randgold Resources Ltd. (GOLD), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), Deutsche Bank (DB), Discover Financial Services (DFS), Goldman Sachs (GS) and CoreSite Realty Corp (COR) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Citigroup downgraded Randgold Resources Ltd. (GOLD) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Davenport downgraded Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

RBC Capital upgraded Deutsche Bank (DB) from a "Sector Perform" rating to a "Outperform" rating.

Goldman Sachs upgraded Discover Financial Services (DFS) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

RBC Capital upgraded Goldman Sachs (GS) from a "Underperform" rating to a "Sector Perform" rating.

Citigroup downgraded CoreSite Realty Corp (COR) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sun Life (SLF) (CVBF) (FHN) (FITB) (FRC) (BCH) (SLF) Ratings, Price Targets

Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF), CVB Financial Corp (CVBF), First Horizon National Co. (FHN), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), First Republic Bank (FRC), Banco de Chile (BCH) and Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Wunderlich downgraded CVB Financial Corp (CVBF) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating. $12.00

Morgan Stanley downgraded First Horizon National Co. (FHN) from an "Overweight" rating to an "Equal Weight" rating.

Sterne Agee downgraded Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Morgan Stanley upgraded First Republic Bank (FRC) from an "Equal Weight" rating to an "Overweight" rating.

Credit Suisse initiated coverage on Banco de Chile (BCH). They placed an "Outperform" rating on the company.

Credit Suisse initiated coverage on Banco Santander-Chile (SAN). They placed an "Outperform" rating on the company.

Desjardins upgraded Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF) from a "Hold" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Gold Could Jump on Inflation, Dollar, India Jewelry Demand

Gold prices may be poised to rebound as several elements are combining to give the yellow metal a probable boost.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made a statement that rising oil prices could spark inflation, the U.S. dollar has been under pressure, and jewelers in India are ending a 5-day shutdown protesting proposed tax increases from the Indian government; all of which could push gold prices up quickly over the short term.

Another major factor is the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe, which continues to weigh down the Zone. The media has neglected it recently, so it hasn't been part of the conversation, even though it's a significant factor in the movement of gold prices.

Bernanke was extremely bearish on European banks, which points to the fact there will be more quantitative easing coming, which is also very bullish for gold.

So far in 2012 gas prices in the U.S. have soared 18 percent, reaching a ten-month high of $3.864 a gallon Wednesday. Not only is inflation a trigger for gold prices to rise, but in the case of higher gas prices, it takes away from consumer spending, which weakens the economy, which also can push gold prices higher.

Gold for April delivery on New York Mercantile Exchange the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled at $1,650.30 an ounce, up $3.30, or 0.2 percent.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Royal Gold (RGLD) (BHI) (BBT) (COF) (RT) (SABA) Ratings, Price Targets

Royal Gold, Inc. (RGLD), Baker Hughes (BHI), BB&T (BBT), Capital One (COF), Ruby Tuesday (RT) and Saba Software (SABA) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

National Bank upgraded Royal Gold, Inc. (RGLD) to an "Outperform" rating.

Global Hunter Securities downgraded Baker Hughes (BHI) from a "Accumulate" rating to a "Neutral $60.00 $40.00" rating.

Guggenheim downgraded BB&T (BBT) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Guggenheim upgraded Capital One (COF) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Raymond James upgraded Ruby Tuesday (RT) from a "Market Perform" rating to a "Outperform" rating.

Benchmark Co. upgraded Saba Software (SABA) from a "Hold" rating to a "Buy" rating. They have a price target of $16.00 on the company.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

IAMGOLD (IAG) (KMI) (ZION) (CIG) (HOG) (DOLE) (DPZ) Ratings, Price Targets

IAMGOLD (IAG), Kinder Morgan (KMI), Zions Bancorporation (ZION), Companhia Energetica de MinasGerais (CIG), Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG), Dole Food (DOLE) and Domino's Pizza, Inc. (DPZ) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Macquarie upgraded IAMGOLD (IAG) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Outperform" rating.

Bank of America downgraded Kinder Morgan (KMI) to an "Underperform" rating.

Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded Zions Bancorporation (ZION) from a "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

UBS AG upgraded Companhia Energetica de MinasGerais (CIG) from a "Sell" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

BMO Capital Markets upgraded Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG) from a "Market Perform" rating to an "Outperform" rating.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Dole Food (DOLE) from an "Overweight" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Bank of America downgraded Domino's Pizza, Inc. (DPZ) to an "Underperform" rating.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Newfield (NFX) (PKD) (ACI) (NE) (NUE) (TRGP) (SCHW) Ratings, Price Targets

Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX), Parker Drilling Company (PKD), Arch Coal, Inc. (ACI), Noble Corp (NE), Nucor Co. (NUE), Targa Resources Investments Inc (TRGP) and Charles Schwab (SCHW) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Goldman Sachs downgraded Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Standpoint Research upgraded Parker Drilling Company (PKD) from a "Hold" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Goldman Sachs downgraded Arch Coal, Inc. (ACI) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Sell" rating.

Standpoint Research downgraded Noble Corp (NE) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

UBS AG upgraded Nucor Co. (NUE) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. initiated coverage on Targa Resources Investments Inc (TRGP). They placed an "Overweight" rating on the company.

Citigroup upgraded Charles Schwab (SCHW) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Comstock (LODE) (QRE) (RBS) (BLK) (BWLD) (CHKP) (RHT) Ratings, Price Targets

Comstock Mining Inc. (LODE), QR Energy LP (QRE), Royal Bank Scotland (RBS), BlackRock, Inc. (BLK), Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), Check Point Software (CHKP) and Red Hat (RHT) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Global Hunter Securities initiated coverage on Comstock Mining Inc. (LODE). They placed a "Buy" rating and price target of $3.50 on the company.

Stifel Nicolaus downgraded QR Energy LP (QRE) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

UBS AG downgraded Royal Bank Scotland (RBS) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Deutsche Bank downgraded BlackRock, Inc. (BLK) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Wedbush downgraded Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Cowen downgraded Check Point Software (CHKP) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Red Hat (RHT) from an "Overweight" rating to an "Equal Weight" rating.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dendreon (DNDN) (RRMS) (EXEL) (PGN) (NUVA) (OMG) (PFCB) Ratings, Price Targets

Dendreon Co. (DNDN), Rose Rock Midstream (RRMS), Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL), Progress Energy (PGN), NuVasive (NUVA), OM Group Inc (OMG) and P.F. Chang's China Bistro (PFCB) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Robert W. Baird upgraded Rose Rock Midstream (RRMS) to an "Outperform" rating.

Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on Dendreon Co. (DNDN). They placed a "Hold" rating on the company.

Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL). They placed a "Buy" rating and a price target of $8.00 on the company.

Dahlman Rose initiated coverage on Progress Energy (PGN). They placed a "Hold" rating on the company.

JMP Securities upgraded NuVasive (NUVA) from a "Market Perform" rating to a "Outperform" rating.

First Analysis upgraded OM Group Inc (OMG) from a "Equal Weight" rating to a "Overweight" rating.

Argus upgraded P.F. Chang's China Bistro (PFCB) from a "Sell" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Citigroup (C) (MTDR) (RKT) (TCBI) (AMT) (TCB) (RLD) Ratings, Price Targets

Citigroup (C), Matador Resources Co (MTDR), Rock-Tenn Company (RKT), Texas Capital (TCBI), American Tower Corporation (AMT), TCF Financial Co. (TCB) and RealD (RLD) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Anadarko Petroleum (APC) from a "Hold" rating to a "Buy" rating. They had a price target of $100.00 on the company.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Citigroup (C) from an "Overweight" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Credit Agricole downgraded Rock-Tenn Company (RKT) to an "Underperforml" rating.

SunTrust downgraded Texas Capital (TCBI) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded American Tower Corporation (AMT) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Overweight" rating.

Sterne Agee upgraded TCF Financial Co. (TCB) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Dougherty & Co upgraded RealD (RLD) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Suntech (STP) (MANT) (SCGLY) (ABV) (MDR) (CVC) (CVS) Downgraded

Suntech Power (STP), ManTech (MANT), Societe Generale SA (SCGLY), Companhia De Bebidas (ABV), McDermott International (MDR), CVS Caremark (CVS) and Cablevision (CVC) were downgraded by analysts.

Nomura downgraded Suntech Power (STP) to a "Reduce" rating.

Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded ManTech (MANT) from a "Market Perform" rating to an "Underperform" rating.

HSBC downgraded Societe Generale SA (SCGLY) from a "Overweight" rating to an "Neutral" rating.

HSBC downgraded Companhia De Bebidas (ABV) to a "Neutral" rating.

Howard Weil downgraded McDermott International (MDR) from a "Outperform" rating to an "Market Perform" rating. They have a price target of $16.00 on the company.

Deutsche Bank downgraded Cablevision (CVC) from a "Buy" rating to an "Hold" rating.

BMO Capital Markets downgraded CVS Caremark (CVS) from a "Outperform" rating to an "Market Perform" rating.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dynegy (DYN) (FGP) (PTEN) (ARII) (MAIN) (FSBI) (GIS) Downgraded

Dynegy Inc. (DYN), Ferrellgas Partners (FGP), Patterson-UTI (PTEN), American Railcar Industries (ARII), Main Street Capital Co. (MAIN), Fidelity Bancorp Inc (FSBI) and General Mills (GIS) were downgraded by analysts.

BTIG downgraded Dynegy Inc. (DYN) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded Ferrellgas Partners (FGP) from a "Market Perform" rating to a "Underperform" rating.

Miller Tabak downgraded Patterson-UTI (PTEN) from a "Buy" rating to a "Sell" rating.

KeyBanc downgraded American Railcar Industries (ARII) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Morgan Keegan downgraded Main Street Capital Co. (MAIN) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

TheStreet downgraded Fidelity Bancorp (FSBI) to a "Sell" rating.

Goldman Sachs downgraded General Mills (GIS) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Arch Coal (ACI) (E) (RDS.A) (WTI) (TOL) (VOLC) (BGCP) Ratings, Price Targets

Arch Coal, Inc. (ACI), Eni S.p.A. (E), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), W&T Offshore, Inc. (WTI), Toll Brothers, Inc. (TOL), Volcano (VOLC) and BGC Partners, Inc. (BGCP) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

BMO Capital Markets downgraded Arch Coal, Inc. (ACI) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded Eni S.p.A. (E) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Global Hunter Securities upgraded W&T Offshore, Inc. (WTI) from an "Accumulate" rating to a "Buy" rating. They raised their price target on them from $25.00 to $30.00.

Credit Suisse upgraded Toll Brothers, Inc. (TOL) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Outperform" rating.

Goldman Sachs upgraded Volcano (VOLC) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods downgraded BGC Partners, Inc. (BGCP) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Alpha (ANR) (MPC) (BID) (WWE) (CCIH) (GCA) (GDP) Ratings, Price Targets

Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Sotheby's (BID), World Wrestling Entertainment Inc (WWE), Chinacache International Holdings Limited (CCIH), Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc. (GCA) and Goodrich Petroleum Co. (GDP) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

CRT Capital upgraded Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) to a "Sell" rating.

Benchmark Co. initiated coverage on Marathon Petroleum (MPC). They placed a "Hold" rating and price target of $39.00 on the company.

Williams Capital downgraded Sotheby's (BID) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Roth Capital downgraded World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Pacific Crest downgraded Chinacache International Holdings Limited (CCIH) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Sector Perform" rating.

Compass Point upgraded Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc. (GCA) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating. They raised their price target from $5.00 to $12.00 on the company.

Capital One downgraded Goodrich Petroleum Co. (GDP) to a "Neutral" rating.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Harvest (HNR) (KWK) (CRZBY) (NLY) (DB) (WAT) (AMGN) Ratings

Harvest Natural Resources, Inc. (HNR), Quicksilver Resources Inc (KWK), Commerzbank AG (CRZBY), Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NLY), Deutsche Bank (DB), Waters Corporation (WAT) and Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) had ratings on them initiated or adjusted by analysts.

Pritchard upraded Harvest Natural Resources, Inc. (HNR) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Capital One upgraded Quicksilver Resources Inc (KWK) to a "Neutral" rating.

ING Group downgraded Commerzbank AG (CRZBY) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NLY) from a "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

ING Group initiated coverage on Deutsche Bank (DB). They placed a "Buy" rating on the company.

Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on Waters Corporation (WAT). They placed an "Overweight" rating on the company.

Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) from a "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Monday, March 5, 2012

China's Gold Strategy

There are a lot of theories being thrown around as to why China is acquiring so much gold. Everything from a failing economy to diversification are part of the media narrative.

I don't think it's primarily related to those or other assumptions, although the there is probably some truth to the diversification element of the story.

At bottom though, it appears China is positioning itself to enhance its currency, and make it much more desirable to the world, as the U.S. dollar continues to weaken because of the horrendous policies of the government and endless printing of U.S. dollars by the Federal Reserve.

With the U.S. dollar inevitably going the way of the British Pound, as far as being the reserve currency of the world, China, no doubt, wants to embrace that role with the renminbi.

This appears to be the reason the country is encouraging its citizens to acquire gold, and why it's importing so much even while it mines gold domestically at record levels.

China has a much longer timeframe than America and the West, and they'll be content to continually acquire gold in preparation for the eventual migration of the world to the renminbi as the reserve currency. It's only a matter of when, not if.

Silver Wheaton (SLW) (BASFY) (HK) (JBL) (KNOL) (LEAP) (NDZ) Ratings, Price Targets

Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW), BASF SE (BASFY), Halcon Resources (HK), Jabil Circuit, Inc. (JBL), Knology, Inc. (KNOL), Leap Wireless (LEAP) and Nordion (NDZ) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Macquarie downgraded Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Citigroup downgraded BASF SE (BASFY) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Global Hunter downgraded Securities Halcon Resources (HK) from an "Accumulate" rating to a "Neutral" rating. They raised their price target on the company from $6.60 to $11.00.

Needham & Company downgraded Jabil Circuit, Inc. (JBL) from a "Strong-Buy" rating to a "Buy" rating. They raised their price target on the company from $26.00 to $29.00.

Stifel Nicolaus downgraded Knology, Inc. (KNOL) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating

Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded Leap Wireless (LEAP) from a "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating

Desjardins downgraded Nordion (NDZ) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Friday, March 2, 2012

CRH (CRH) (FOSL) (GEF) (ITT) (JBHT) (KCP) (KPLUF) Ratings, Price Targets

CRH PLC (CRH), Fossil (FOSL), Greif (GEF), ITT Industries (ITT), J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT), Kenneth Cole Productions (KCP) and K PLUS S AG (KPLUF) had ratings and price targets adjusted on them by analysts.

Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded CRH PLC (CRH) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Citigroup downgraded Fossil (FOSL) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Deutsche Bank downgraded Greif (GEF) "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.
Janney Montgomery Scott downgraded ITT Industries (ITT) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

KeyBanc downgraded J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT) "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Sterne Agee downgraded Kenneth Cole Productions (KCP) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Societe Generale downgraded K PLUS S AG (KPLUF) "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Hecla (HL) (AWK) (CWT) (RY) (HTLF) (CMA) (NWSA) Ratings, Price Targets

Hecla Mining (HL), American Water Works (AWK), California Water Service Group (CWT), RBC Capital (RY), Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (HTLF), Comerica (CMA) and News Corp. (NWSA) had ratings and price targets adjusted on them by analysts.

Scotia Capital initiated coverage on Hecla Mining (HL). They placed a "Sector Perform" rating and price target of $6.50 on the company.

Robert W. Baird downgraded American Water Works (AWK) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Janney Montgomery Scott downgraded California Water Service Group (CWT) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

TD Securities downgraded RBC Capital (RY) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Guggenheim upgraded Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (HTLF) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Raymond James downgraded Comerica (CMA) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

RBC Capital downgraded News Corp. (NWSA) from a "Top Pick" rating to an "Outperform" rating.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

SunPower (SPWR) (ATW) (DNR) (OXF) (WAFD) (SON) (TROW) Ratings, Price Targets

SunPower (SPWR), Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (ATW), Denbury Resources Inc. (DNR), Oxford Resource Partners (OXF), Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD), Sonoco Products (SON) and T. Rowe Price (TROW) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Brigantine initiated coverage on SunPower (SPWR). They placed a "Neutral" rating on the company.

Dahlman Rose upgraded Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (ATW) from a "Hold" rating to a "Buy" rating. They placed a price target of $58.00 on the company.

Sterne Agee upgraded Denbury Resources Inc. (DNR) from a "Sell" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

BB&T downgraded Oxford Resource Partners (OXF) from a "Hold" rating to a "Underweight" rating.

Sterne Agee downgraded Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Robert W. Baird upgraded Sonoco Products (SON) from a "Neutral" rating to an "Outperform" rating. They boosted their price from $34.00 to $38.00 on the company.

Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on T. Rowe Price (TROW). They have a "Market Perform" rating on the company.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thompson (TC) (JPM) (LNKD) (BMO) (NYX) (APOL) (ARB) Ratings, Price Targets

Thompson Creek Metals (TC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Linkedin Co. (LNKD), Bank of Montreal (BMO), NYSE Euronext (NYX), Apollo Group, Inc. (APOL) and Arbitron Inc. (ARB) had ratings and price targets initiated or adjusted by analysts.

Dahlman Rose downgraded Thompson Creek Metals (TC) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Standpoint Research initiated coverage on JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM). They have a "Buy" rating and price target of $47.00 on the company.

Avondale Partners initiated coverage on Linkedin Co. (LNKD). They have a "Market Perform" rating and price target of $87.00 on the company.

Macquarie downgraded Bank of Montreal (BMO) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Raymond James downgraded NYSE Euronext (NYX) from a "Strong-Buy" rating to an "Outperform" rating.

Deutsche Bank downgraded Apollo Group, Inc. (APOL) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating. They have a price target of $45.00 on the company..

CJS Securities upgraded Arbitron Inc. (ARB) to an "Outperform" rating.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Newmont (NEM) (ENOC) (EPB) (TC) (REGI) (TRP) (ATW) Ratings, Price Targets

Newmont Mining Co. (NEM), EnerNOC, Inc. (ENOC), El Paso Pipeline Partners (EPB), Thompson Creek Metals (TC), Renewable Energy Group (REGI), TransCanada Co. (TRP) and Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (ATW) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

TD Securities downgraded Newmont Mining Co. (NEM) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Needham & Company downgraded EnerNOC, Inc. (ENOC) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Citigroup downgraded El Paso Pipeline Partners (EPB) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Credit Suisse downgraded Thompson Creek Metals (TC) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Piper Jaffray initiated coverage on Renewable Energy Group (REGI). They placed an "Overweight" rating and price target of $17.00 on the company.

TD Securities downgraded TransCanada Co. (TRP) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (ATW). They placed an "Equal Weight" rating on the company.

Monday, February 27, 2012

IAMGOLD (IAG) (MCP) (CLR) (ANR) (AI) (KBH) (AMT) Downgraded

IAMGOLD Corp (IAG), Molycorp, Inc. (MCP), Continental Resources, Inc. (CLR), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), Arlington Asset (AI), KB Home (KBH) and American Tower Corporation (AMT) Downgraded were downgraded by analysts.

Macquarie downgraded IAMGOLD Corp (IAG) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Piper Jaffray downgraded Molycorp, Inc. (MCP) from an "Overweight" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Robert W. Baird downgraded Continental Resources, Inc. (CLR) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

CRT Capital downgraded Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) to a "Sell" rating.

Wunderlich downgraded Arlington Asset (AI) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Raymond James downgraded American Tower Corporation (AMT) from a "Strong-Buy" rating to an "Outperform" rating.

CRT Capital downgraded KB Home (KBH) from a "Buy" rating.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Allied (ANV) (BLDP) (CLR) (EROC) (FSLR) (PACW) (DB) Ratings, Price Targets

Allied Nevada Gold Corp (ANV), Ballard Power System (BLDP), Continental Resources, Inc. (CLR), Eagle Rock Energy Partners (EROC), First Solar, Inc. (FSLR), PacWest Bancorp (PACW) and Deutsche Bank (DB) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Barclays Capital initiated coverage on Allied Nevada Gold Corp (ANV). They placed an "Equal Weight" rating on the company.

Ardour Capital downgraded Ballard Power System (BLDP) from an "Accumulate" rating to a "Hold" rating. They have a price target of $1.75 on the company.

Pritchard downgraded Continental Resources, Inc. (CLR) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded Eagle Rock Energy Partners (EROC) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Susquehanna downgraded First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) from a "Positive" rating to a "Neutral" rating. They slashed their price target from $55.00 to $40.00 on the company.

Wunderlich downgraded PacWest Bancorp (PACW) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating. They have a price target of $23.00 on the company.

Bank of America upgraded Deutsche Bank (DB) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

SM Energy (SM) (AGPPY) (KYO) (ZUMZ) (CM) (HGSI) (ICON) Ratings, Price Targets

SM Energy (SM), Anglo Platinum Limited (AGPPY), Kyocera Co. (KYO), Zumiez (ZUMZ), CIBC (CM), Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) and Iconix Brand Group (ICON) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

HSBC downgraded Anglo Platinum Limited (AGPPY) from a "Neutral" rating to an "Underweight" rating.

Bank of America downgraded Kyocera Co. (KYO) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Caris & Co. downgraded SM Energy (SM) to an "Average" rating.

DA Davidson downgraded Zumiez (ZUMZ) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Credit Suisse downgraded CIBC (CM) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Collins Stewart downgraded Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating. They cut their price from $17.00 to $10.00 on the company.

Lazard Capital downgraded Iconix Brand Group (ICON) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yingli (YGE) (YHOO) (DELL) (DOW) (FTR) (GILD) (GMLP) (GPC) (HGSI) Ratings, Price Targets

Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (YGE), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), Dell Inc. (DELL), The Dow Chemical Company (DOW), Frontier Communications (FTR), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), LNG Partners (GMLP), Genuine Parts Company (GPC) and Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (YGE) was downgraded by Miller Tabak from a "Neutral" rating to a "Sell" rating.

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) was downgraded by Credit Agricole from a "Buy" rating to an "Underperform" rating.

Dell Inc. (DELL) was downgraded by Citigroup (C) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

The Dow Chemical Company (DOW) was downgraded by Gilford Securities from a "Hold" rating to a "Sell" rating.

Frontier Communications (FTR) was downgraded by Hudson Securities from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) was downgraded by Sanford C. Bernstein from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Golar LNG Partners (GMLP) was downgraded by Citigroup from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Genuine Parts Company (GPC) was downgraded by Gabelli from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) was downgraded by RBC Capital from an "Outperform" rating to a "Sector Perform" rating. They placed a price target of $10.00 on the company, down from $15.00.

Nucor (NUE) (OKS) (STLD) (PCG) (PEG) (WBMD) (WMT) (NFX) Ratings, Price Targets

Nucor Co. (NUE), Oneok Partners LP (OKS), Steel Dynamics, Inc. (STLD), PG&E Co. (PCG), Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PEG), Webmd Health (WBMD), Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.
Nucor Co. (NUE) was downgraded by Longbow Research from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Oneok Partners LP (OKS) was downgraded by Credit Suisse from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Steel Dynamics, Inc. (STLD) was downgraded by Longbow Research from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

PG&E Co. (PCG) was downgraded by Goldman Sachs from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PEG) was downgraded by Atlantic Equities from an "Overweight" rating to an "Underweight" rating.

Webmd Health Corp (WBMD) was downgraded by Goldman Sachs from a "Neutral" rating to a "Sell" rating.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) was downgraded by Raymond James from a "Strong Buy" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX) was downgraded by Citigroup from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Newfield (NFX) (PER) (PM) (SONS) (WTS) (RCI) (ROC) Ratings, Price Targets

Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX), SandRidge Permian Trust (PER), Philip Morris (PM), Sonus Networks, Inc. (SONS), Watts Water Technologies, Inc. (WTS), Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI) and Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (ROC) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.
Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX) was downgraded by Deutsche Bank (DB) from a "Buy" rating to a "Hold" rating.

SandRidge Permian Trust (PER) was downgraded by Raymond James (RJF) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Philip Morris (PM) was downgraded by Nomura (NMR) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Reduce" rating.

Sonus Networks, Inc. (SONS) was downgraded by Miller Tabak from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Watts Water Technologies, Inc. (WTS) was downgraded by Sterne Agee from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI) was downgraded by BMO Capital Markets from an "Outperform" rating to a "Market Perform" rating.

Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (ROC) was downgraded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) from an "Overweight" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Walter Energy (WLT) (APO) (DDR) (BX) (HVT) (LGF) Ratings, Price Targets

Walter Energy (WLT), American Community Properties Trust (APO), DDR Corp. (DDR), The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX), Haverty Furniture Companies, Inc. (HVT) and Lions Gate (LGF) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Walter Energy (WLT) was upgraded by Davenport from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating. They placed a price target of $80.00 on the company.

American Community Properties Trust (APO) was upgraded by Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX) was upgraded by Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

DDR Corp. (DDR) was upgraded by Bank of America from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Haverty Furniture Companies, Inc. (HVT) was upgraded by Sidoti from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Lions Gate (LGF) was upgraded by Miller Tabak from a "Neutral" rating to a "Buy" rating.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rackspace (RAX) (NVR) (MDRX) (MXWL) (RP) (SFG) (VCI) (WSH) Ratings, Price Targets

Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (RAX), Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (MDRX), Maxwell Technologies (MXWL), Realpage (RP), StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (SFG), Valassis Communications, Inc. (VCI), NVR, Inc. (NVR) and Willis Group Holdings PLC (WSH) had ratings and price targets on them adjusted by analysts.

Raymond James downgraded Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (MDRX) from a "Strong-Buy" rating to an "Outperform" rating.

Robert W. Baird downgraded Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Neutral" rating. They placed a price target of $21.00 on the company.

MKM Partners downgraded NVR, Inc. (NVR) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Bank of America downgraded Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (RAX) from a "Buy" rating to a "Neutral" rating.

Pacific Crest Realpage (RP) from an "Outperform" rating to a "Sector Perform" rating.

Morgan Stanley downgraded StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (SFG) from an "Equal Weight" rating to an "Underweight" rating.

Goldman Sachs downgraded The J.M. Smucker Company (SJM) to a "Buy" rating.

Raymond James downgraded Valassis Communications, Inc. (VCI) from an "Outperform" rating to an "Market Perform" rating.

Sandler O'Neill downgraded Willis Group Holdings PLC (WSH) from a "Buy" rating to an "Hold" rating.