Is Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX) Due For Another Bounce?

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX) could benefit from unwinding pessimism in the options pits and beyond

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jun 23, 2016 at 11:38 AM

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) has been a major market outperformer, and if past is precedent, the stock could continue to advance in the coming weeks. Speaking more generally, in fact, the precious metals sector has been on fire. According to our internal sector scorecard, 22 of the 24 gold stocks we follow are above their respective 80-day moving averages, and the average year-to-date advance is an incredible 121.6%.

Returning to the case of ABX, those 2016 gains have been even more impressive. So far this year, the gold stock has rocketed more than 165% to trade at $19.58, and hit a nearly three-year peak of $21.40 last week. What's more, the shares could be set to bounce over the next several weeks. After all, ABX just touched its 40-day moving average, and over the last three years, this has been a bullish signal. Three of the previous four times the stock has hit the trendline, it has advanced over the ensuing 21 sessions -- sporting an average gain of 5.3%.

This upward momentum could be reinforced if option bears and skeptical analysts begin to capitulate. ABX's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.68 ranks in the bearishly skewed 78th annual percentile. Of course, a number of these put buyers may actually be shareholders seeking downside protection. Nevertheless, if "vanilla" bears start hitting the exits, it could result in tailwinds for ABX.

The brokerage bunch hasn't caught up to the shares' technical exploits, either. Of the 15 analysts tracking Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), 80% rate it a "hold" or "strong sell." If that's not enough, the stock's average 12-month price target is $17.07 -- a nearly 13% discount to current levels. In other words, ABX is in a prime position to benefit from a round of upgrades and/or upward price-target revisions.

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