Top 5 Gold Miner Stocks by Market Cap

Physical and futures-based investments in gold have been a mainstay in many investors portfolios for years now, but allocations to gold mining and exploration companies have quickly solidified their place in the commodity world. Although they do not have a perfect correlation to spot bullion prices, these stocks offer indirect access to arguably the world’s most popular safe haven while at the same time providing equity exposure that has a unique risk/return profile. For those who have a bullish outlook on gold prices and the mining industry, we outline five of the biggest gold mining and exploration companies by market cap [for more gold news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

AngloGold Ashanti (AU)

Quick Stats as of (10/19/2012)

  • Market Cap: $1.30 trillion
  • EPS: 0.03
  • Avg Vol: 1.9 million
  • Beta: 0.46

This mega-company is home to a market cap of $1.30 trillion and trades over 1.9 million times a day. Headquartered in South Africa, the company is primarily engaged in gold, but also produces by-products such as silver, uranium oxide, and sulfuric acid. Prior to the recession, AU reached it’s record high in January of 2006 at $59.85 a share. When the financial crisis hit in 2008, the stock crumbled, loosing nearly three-quarters of its value. Since hitting rock bottom, the stock’s price has increased more than 111%, not yet reaching its pre-recession highs, but steadily regaining traction. AngloGold stock does however have a P/E ratio of 938.67 and an EPS of only $0.03, suggesting that investors are grossly overpaying for this mining powerhouse.

Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX)

Quick Stats as of (10/19/2012)

  • Market Cap: $38.5 billion
  • EPS: 4.10
  • Avg Vol: 8.1 million
  • Beta: 1.71

With 26 operating mines across North and South America, Australia, and Africa, Barrick Gold is arguably one of the most popular names in the industry. Like AU, this stock was able to regain lost ground from the recession through 2011, but fell prey to rising operational costs levied on miners across the globe. Since peaking in April of last year, the stock is down roughly 73%. ABX does however have a return on equity of around 16%, which is significantly higher than the industry average. Currently the stock’s market cap is $38.5 billion and trades 8.1 million times on average a day [see also Get Ready For the Gold Bull Run].

Goldcorp Inc. (GG)

Quick Stats as of (10/19/2012)

  • Market Cap: $34.8 billion
  • EPS: 1.61
  • Avg Vol: 4.9 million
  • Beta: 0.46

With a total market cap of nearly $35 billion, GG comes in third place on the listThis Canadian based firm struggled during the recession, but since bottoming out in October of 2008, the stock is up over 145%. Year-to-date however, the stock has lost over 8%, reflecting the company’s sharp decline in earnings per share when compared to the year earlier quarter. Currently, GG’s EPS is 1.61, while its P/E ratio is 26.59.

Newmont Mining Corp (NEM)

Quick Stats as of (10/19/2012)

  • Market Cap: $27.1 billion
  • EPS: 0.46
  • Avg Vol: 5.3 million
  • Beta: 0.11

Headquartered in Colorado, this company has mining operations across the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, New Zealand, and Mexico. This $27 billion company reached its peak in November of 2011 but has been unable to regain those levels. NEM is perhaps not the most appealing option given the company’s low EPS of only $0.46 and a return on equity of 5%, which is significantly lower than Barrick’s relatively attractive EPS of $4.10 and ROE of 16% [see also Why Warren Buffett Hates Gold].

Yamana Gold Inc (AUY)

Quick Stats as of (10/19/2012)

  • Market Cap: $14.4 billion
  • EPS: 0.56
  • Avg Vol: 5.8 million
  • Beta: 0.54

Another Canadian firm, Yamana Gold comes in last on our list with a market cap of $14 billion and an ADV of  5.8 million. Like all the other stocks on this list, AUY share price plummeted in 2008, falling roughly 80% from its pre-recession high. Despite being nearly decimated, the stock managed to regain lost ground and is currently up 32% year-to-date. Although the company’s 2012 second quarter earnings missed top and bottom line expectations, the stock remains an appealing buy for many investors as the company continues to increase mine production and deliver a sustainable dividend yield.

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.

About Daniela Pylypczak

Daniela Pylypczak-Wasylyszyn is a regular contributor to CommodityHQ.com, where she primarily focuses on commodity producers equities. She is also an analyst for ETFdb.com, where she contributes articles and analysis each week. Since joining the team in 2011, Daniela has quickly grown to be one of the most widely-followed authors in the industry. Her articles are syndicated in a number of online publications, including Financial Advisor Magazine, Fidelity.com, and Yahoo! Finance. Daniela is also a contributor for TraderHQ.com and Dividend.com. Daniela graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics.
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