The markets seem to be in the worst phase since the pandemic-driven crash of March 2020. While I believe that there are several pockets of value among growth stocks, it makes sense to play it safe. One way is through exposure to physical gold or gold stocks.
Talking about gold, an obvious question from investors would be the implication for the precious metal as interest rates increase. With contractionary monetary policies, there can be a case for gold trending lower. However, it’s clear that the precious metal has remained relatively resilient.
There are two important reasons to be bullish on gold even as interest rates trend higher. First, geopolitical tensions remain high. In such a scenario, gold tends to perform well. Further, there are already expectations of a recession in the U.S. in 2023. Cathie Wood also believes that we might be in a global recession.
If there is a meaningful slowdown in growth, the Federal Reserve is likely to go slow on the rate hike. On the contrary, if the situation worsens, there can be a case for cuts in interest rates. If this happens, gold is likely to go ballistic along with gold stocks.
I would, therefore, remain invested in some quality gold stocks. Let’s look at some of the names that are worth considering:
|KGC||Kinross Gold Corporation||$4.04|
|GOLD||Barrick Gold Corporation||$20.52|
|EQX||Equinox Gold Corp.||$5.39|
|AU||AngloGold Ashanti Limited||$16.23|
Gold Stocks to Buy: Newmont Corporation (NEM)
Newmont (NYSE:NEM) is possibly the top name to consider among gold stocks. The stock trades at an attractive forward price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of 17.36 and also offers a dividend yield of 3.2%.
Newmont has robust gold reserves of 96 million ounces along with gold resources of 112 million ounces. The current project pipeline provides visibility for stable production into 2040. Further, the company expects to improve the all-in sustaining cost to $800 to $900 an ounce in the next few years.
Even if gold trades around $2,000 an ounce levels, Newmont is positioned to deliver healthy free cash flows. For first-quarter (Q1) 2022, Newmont reported operating and free cash flow of $689 million and $252 million, respectively. With $1 billion in free cash flow visibility, there is ample scope for shareholder value creation.
It’s also worth noting that the company reported a total liquidity buffer of $7.3 billion. Further, with a net-debt-to-adjusted-EBITDA of 0.3x, the company has robust financial flexibility. It can possibly pursue opportunistic inorganic growth.
NEM stock is a quality name to consider with the company having a strong asset base and a quality balance sheet.
Kinross Gold (KGC)
Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC) has been among the underperforming gold stocks. One reason is the fact that the company had asset exposure to Russia. For 2022, Kinross expected 13% of production from Russia.
However, in April 2022, Kinross sold its Russian assets for $680 million. The company also announced the sale of the Chirano mine in Ghana for $225 million. With sales of assets from regions with high geopolitical risk, the company seems prepared for growth in 2022 and beyond.
It’s worth noting that as of December 2021, Kinross reported $1.9 billion in total liquidity. The asset sales boost the company’s cash buffer and positions Kinross for organic and inorganic growth. Therefore, the production decline from asset sales is likely to be offset through higher investments in core assets and potential acquisitions.
For 2022, Kinross has guided for an all-in sustaining cost of just above $1,100 an ounce. At the current gold price, the company is positioned to deliver free cash flows.
Overall, KGC stock trades at a forward PE of 11.48. I would not be surprised if the stock doubles in the next 12 months, particularly if the cash buffer can be utilized for aggressive investments and acquisition of assets.