With the U.S. debt quickly approaching 100% of the GDP and the declining financial condition of European countries, we are seeing some very jittery financial markets. Whether you live in the U.S. or are a citizen of the world, we should all be concerned with the current financial condition of the world, and many people are. This is evidenced by the significant run up in gold.
At $1,800 per ounce gold seems expensive to some, but for others, such as Jim Rogers, the expectation is that the price of gold will continue upward past $2,000 per ounce. Who's right? What can investors do to add exposure to precious metals when they are uncomfortable buying at these historically high levels?
One place I am looking is precious metals mining stocks. Contrary to the metals they mine, many of these stocks are trading at the lower end of historic levels.
Wanting to further reduce risk, I am only looking at stocks that pay a dividend. Many of the top mining companies are expanding and growing their dividends. Some are linking their dividend payments to the metal they mine.
Here are some stocks I am looking at:
Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM)
P/E: 14 | Yield: 1.8%
Newmont Mining Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration and production of gold and copper properties. NMT has a dividend policy that links its dividend to the price of gold. Recently, the company enhanced its dividend policy. The enhanced policy will provide an additional step up of 7.5 cents per share when the company's realized gold price for a quarter exceeds $1,700 per ounce and a further step up of 2.5 cents per share (10 cents in total compared to the existing policy) when the company's realized gold price for a quarter exceeds $2,000.
Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE:HL)
P/E: 20 | Yield: 2.1%
Hecla Mining Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the discovery, acquisition, development, production and marketing of silver, gold, lead and zinc. Following NMT's lead, HL announced last week that it adopted a common stock dividend policy that links dividend payments to Hecla's average quarterly realized silver price in the preceding quarter. The initial quarterly dividend under the policy is expected to be 3 cents per share of common stock (12 cents per year), if Hecla's average realized silver price for the third quarter is $40.00 per ounce. All dividends, including those in the third quarter, would increase or decrease by 1 cent per share (4 cents annually) for each $5.00 per ounce incremental increase or decrease in the average realized silver price in the preceding quarter.
Some other companies to consider include:
Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)
P/E: 12 | Yield: 1.0%
Barrick Gold Corporation primarily engages in the production and sale of gold, as well as related activities such as exploration and mine development worldwide.
Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE:GG)
P/E: 12 | Yield: 1.0%
Goldcorp Inc. engages in the acquisition, exploration, development and operation of precious metal properties in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX)
P/E: 5 | Yield: 3.1%
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, silver and cobalt.
Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE:AEM)
P/E: 32 | Yield: 1.0%
Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development and production of mineral properties. It explores for gold, silver, zinc, copper and lead.
Gold Resource Corp (GORO)
P/E: n/a | Yield: 3.0%
Gold Resource Corporation, an exploration stage company, engages in the exploration for and production of gold, silver, precious metals and base metals, including copper, lead and zinc, primarily in Mexico.
Finally, for those that focus on current yield. Here is an interesting security:
Gabelli Natural Resources, Gold (NYSE:GNT)
P/E: n/a | Yield: 11.6%
This fund seeks high current income with capital appreciation through investing in a portfolio of securities issued by companies principally engaged in the gold and natural resources sectors and by generating income through an option writing strategy. The fund intends to make regular monthly cash distributions of all or a portion of its investment company taxable income (which includes ordinary income and short-term capital gains) to common shareholders.
The fund also intends to make annual distributions of its "net capital gain" (which is the excess of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses). The fund will pay common shareholders annually all, or at least 90%, of its investment company taxable income.
Keep in mind that gold and silver stocks are not low risk. Mining for precious metals has historically been a boom or bust industry. When investing in such stocks carefully consider the company and how it fits in your overall asset allocation.
Full Disclosure: No position in the aforementioned securities. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.
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