Gold prices have been pretty volatile over the last 12 months or so, hitting a high of about $2,080 last spring then bottoming at $1,620 in the fall. And with the precious metal now running back up lately to currently trade just under $1,900 an ounce, some investors are wondering if gold prices are on a comeback run in 2023.
With continued talk of inflationary pressures as well as fears of stock market volatility pushing some traders into gold as a “safe haven,” we could see gold provide uncorrelated returns this year that protect your portfolio even if there’s trouble in other assets. Whether you’re investing in gold as a hedge or as a tactical opportunity, gold mining stocks are worth a look — and here are seven leading names to consider:
— Barrick Gold Corp. (ticker: GOLD)
— BHP Group Ltd. (BHP)
— Centerra Gold Inc. (CGAU)
— Equinox Gold Corp. (EQX)
— Franco-Nevada Corp. (FNV)
— Newmont Corp. (NEM)
— Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (WPM)
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Barrick Gold Corp. (GOLD)
With a ticker symbol that says it all, Barrick is one of largest gold miners out there, with a market value of roughly $32 billion at present. Headquartered in Toronto, it has ownership interests in gold mines that are located mainly in Africa and the U.S. Admittedly, the stock has seen its ups and downs, just like the underlying metal has, and is off significantly from its April highs. However, over the past 12 months shares are only slightly in the red and performing better than the broader market, as measured by a 7% decline for the S&P 500 in the same period.
BHP Group Ltd. (BHP)
Megacap BHP is not a dedicated gold play, as this $240 billion megaminer extracts just about every mineral under the sun from its mines around the world. Its exploration and development operations span energy products including coal, oil and gas and its mining includes copper, silver, zinc, molybdenum, uranium and iron ore. But gold is a significant part of BHP all the same, allowing investors a play on the precious metal as well as a deeply diversified portfolio to smooth out some of the bumps in the road. If you want to play broader inflationary trends, BHP’s business could be a great tactical bet in the months ahead — and considering the stock is up by double digits over the last calendar year, even as other companies have lost ground — that’s a big vote of confidence in an otherwise uncertain market.
Centerra Gold Inc. (CGAU)
Centerra is a Canadian miner that is valued at about $1.5 billion, and is focused primarily on exploration for gold and copper deposits. Its properties are mainly located across North America and in Turkey. While this stock has been volatile over the last 12 months, like many of the so-called “junior” gold miners that aren’t as established as the larger names on this list, the short-term performance of CGAU is enviable. Over the last 90 days or so, Centerra has surged about 40% and is now almost double where it traded at its 52-week low in September. Smaller mining stocks are higher risk, but these returns also show the potential for quick gains if and when the market conditions move in a favorable direction.
Equinox Gold Corp. (EQX)
Equinox is the smallest gold miner on this list, with a market value of under $1.3 billion and a share price of less than $5 at present. EQX is laser-focused on gold and silver deposits, primarily across different mineral-rich regions of Brazil. In addition, it owns properties in Mexico, Canada and California. The company is aggressively ramping up production with a target output of 1 million ounces, which is almost double the 532,000 ounces or so it produced in 2022. Shares have performed pretty poorly over the past year thanks to the dive in gold prices, but have started to recover and could be a high-risk, high-reward play if its long-term plans pan out — pardon the pun!
Franco-Nevada Corp. (FNV)
Another miner with a strong balance sheet and huge operations, FNV boasts more than 400 mine sites that it is currently operating or exploring. That massive portfolio covers almost 40,000 square miles of real estate. It is diversified into other metals like the other big names on this list, but is still very much a play on gold, as about 65% of revenue to its mining segment comes from the precious metal alone. That means you get a bit of stability from the other business lines, but FNV is poised to ride the rise in gold prices more directly than some of its peers. Shares are up about 6% in the past 12 months.
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Newmont Corp. (NEM)
Coming in at nearly $40 billion in market value, Newmont is also a diversified gold miner. It’s among the largest metal producers of any kind on Wall Street. However, it’s noteworthy that the production of copper, silver, zinc and lead largely comes as a byproduct of its gold mining operations — not because NEM seeks these deposits out directly. It owns or operates in about 37,000 square miles of territory worldwide, from the U.S. and Canada to South America, Australia and Africa. Its most recent figures — as of Dec. 31, 2021 — listed proven and probable gold reserves of 92.8 million ounces, which at current prices add up to about $175 billion. That gold has to get out of the ground, of course, but the real value of these assets provides a strong foundation for this mining stock to build on.
Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (WPM)
Another good-sized miner, $20 billion Wheaton is a diversified precious metals company. It primarily makes money selling materials — gold, silver, palladium and cobalt — from more than two dozen mines. Looking forward, it’s also developing 13 more sites in valuable regions to ensure a steady stream of precious metals for years to come. Known previously as Silver Wheaton Corp., the firm changed its name to Wheaton Precious Metals in 2017 to acknowledge the growing importance of other deposits in its product portfolio — including, of course, gold. In fact, in January it estimated that it extracted more gold than silver from the ground over the past year when measured by dollar amounts.
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7 Best Gold Stocks to Buy Now originally appeared on usnews.com
Update 02/08/23: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.