This Gold Stock Just Dipped 5%: Time to Buy?

This gold stock has been rising higher and higher but recently went through a 5% dip in share price. So, is it a deal or a bust?

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It’s an interesting time for investors looking at gold stocks. These companies have been doing quite well with the high price of gold. Yet when that price of gold drops, so too does the share price of many gold-focused miners.

Such has been the case for Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX:AEM). AEM stock recently saw a 5% drop in share price, and this could be either the beginning of a more serious drop or a buying opportunity. So, which is it? Let’s dive in.

Recent performance

To see whether the company is worth investing in, let’s look at recent earnings and financial performance for AEM stock. AEM stock’s recent earnings report has shown mixed results. For the first quarter of 2024, the company reported a net income of approximately $112 million, or $0.23 per share, compared to $136 million, or $0.28 per share, in the same quarter the previous year. 

This decline in net income is attributed to higher production costs and lower gold prices during the period. However, the company did achieve record gold production of 850,000 ounces, up from 812,000 ounces in the previous year. Revenue for the quarter stood at $1.3 billion, slightly down from $1.35 billion year over year, reflecting the fluctuating gold prices.

Furthermore, investors should also pay attention to the rising production costs. The all-in sustaining cost (AISC) per ounce, a crucial metric in the mining industry, has increased. In the first quarter, AEM reported an AISC of $1,050 per ounce, up from $980 per ounce in the previous year. The increase in AISC reflects higher labour costs, increased prices for raw materials, and other operational expenses. While AEM remains within a competitive range in terms of AISC, ongoing cost management will be critical to maintain profitability.

Can they cover it?

To see if the company can cover these rising costs, investors must look into net income, earnings per share (EPS), and cash flow. AEM stock reported a net income of $112 million, or $0.23 per share, for the first quarter of 2024 as mentioned. This represents a decline from $136 million, or $0.28 per share, in the same quarter of the previous year. 

However, it’s noteworthy that the company remains profitable, which is a positive sign given the challenges posed by the global economic environment and operational cost pressures. So, what about cash flow? 

Cash flow is a critical metric for mining companies as it indicates the ability to fund operations, invest in growth projects, and return value to shareholders. AEM generated operating cash flow of $420 million in the first quarter of 2024, down from $450 million in the prior year. The decline in operating cash flow is linked to the lower net income and increased working capital requirements.

Meanwhile, on the capital expenditure front, AEM has been actively investing in its development projects and sustaining capital. For the first quarter, capital expenditures totalled $250 million, reflecting investments in key growth projects such as the Meliadine mine expansion and the Upper Beaver project. These investments are expected to drive future production growth and enhance the company’s long-term value proposition.

Worth the investment?

There are still strategic initiatives for investors to consider as well that could lead the AEM stock being a strong investment. The recent merger with Kirkland Lake Gold is a significant development, expected to create synergies and improve overall production capacity. The company’s ongoing exploration and development projects are likely to contribute to future production increases and revenue growth. 

What’s more, its balance sheet remains robust, with manageable levels of debt and strong liquidity. As of the end of the first quarter, the company had $500 million in cash and equivalents and total debt of approximately $1.2 billion. The net debt position is relatively low, providing financial flexibility to weather market fluctuations and fund strategic investments.

So, while there are still a few hiccoughs to cover, AEM stock does look like a strong investment — especially when you add in a nice dividend yield currently at 2.31% and a 5% dip in share price.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Amy Legate-Wolfe has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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