3 Miners Returning 20% or More to Shareholders This Year

These three mining companies have all added over 20% to their value this year, and with an uncertain outlook for many commodities, are these stocks likely to keep their momentum or suffer a correction?

Here is a closer examination of their fundamentals and performance.

1. Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd

Up approximately 28% since January 2, 2014

Shares of Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd (TSX: AEM)(NYSE: AEM) have been on a downward trend over the past month due to its second-quarter earnings miss, but over the year the company’s stock is up substantially, making it the top-performing miner in the S&P/TSX 60.

Bullish factors for Agnico Eagle this year include its joint acquisition of Osisko Mining Corp with Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX: YRI)(NYSE: AUY), which gives the company access to the Malartic mine, the largest gold mine in Canada. This acquisition, combined with improvements and advancements at the company’s other properties has contributed to a large increase in production forecasts, which in turn has contributed to the stock rally.

While the price of Agnico Eagle’s top commodity, gold, has seen better days, the price is still well above the company’s all-in sustaining cash cost per ounce, which is projected to be US$990 this year. Increased production and operating costs below sale costs means that the company will likely remain steady or trend higher in the coming months.

2. Eldorado Gold Corp

Up over 26% since January 2, 2014

It has been a bumpy ride this year for Eldorado Gold Corp (TSX: ELD)(NYSE: EGO), which has managed to add over 26% to its stock value. The company looked to be off to a good start at the beginning of the year, climbing higher as the price of gold rebounded after a difficult 2013.

However, in February when the company reported that it missed revenue expectations in the fourth quarter, its stock took a hit. Since the end of May the stock has consistently trended upward, supported by some positive exploration updates. In the most recent earnings release, the company reported in-line EPS, but missed on revenue.

The positive part of the report was a boost to its full-year 2014 production outlook to the top end of its prior range with the company now expecting to produce 790,000 ounces of gold, compared to its prior guidance for 730,000-800,000 ounces. All-in sustaining costs are projected to fall in the range of $915-$985 per ounce.

Eldorado Gold’s rising production and the fact that its all-in sustaining costs are still well below the current price of gold are supportive factors for the company’s stock. In addition, even though the company continues to expand its assets, capital spending remains in check.

3. First Quantum Minerals Limited

Up almost 22% since January 2, 2014

While there were some bumps in the road, First Quantum Minerals Limited’s (TSX: FM) overall trajectory has been higher this year.

First Quantum is unique compared to the two previously mentioned miners, as it is truly a diversified miner, producing base metals in addition to gold and platinum group elements. Eldorado Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines are primarily gold producers.

The major positive for First Quantum this year was the company’s acquisition of Lumina Copper Corp. First Quantum gained ownership of the Taca Taca project in Argentina, one of the world’s most promising undeveloped copper deposits with more than 28 billion pounds of copper resources. The purchase was in line with First Quantum’s goal to increase its copper reserves.

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Fool contributor Leia Klingel has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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