Analyst Upgrades: Kinross Gold Corporation, Barrick Gold Corporation, and Yamana Gold Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Kinross Gold Corporation (USA) (KGC), Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX), and Yamana Gold Inc. (USA) (AUY)

Feb 8, 2016 at 9:28 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on gold interests Kinross Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:KGC), Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), and Yamana Gold Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AUY). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on KGC, ABX, and AUY.

  • KGC was upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform" at BMO, which also raised its price target on the stock to $2.75 from $2.00. In fact, BMO said it expects gold's recent positive momentum to continue into the second quarter. That, combined with surging gold futures, has sent the shares 6.7% higher in pre-market trading, after closing at $2.30 on Friday. Kinross Gold Corporation is already up 26% year-to-date, and is preparing to report fourth-quarter earnings after the close this Wednesday. Today's upgrade is a change of pace for the equity, which sits on 11 "hold" or worse ratings from analysts, compared to just three "buys" or better. But option traders should be cheering the stock's recent rally. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have bought to open more than 13 KGC calls for each put over the last 10 weeks -- a ratio in the top percentile of its annual range.

  • BMO also upped its price target on ABX, to $13.50 from $10.50. Like most gold names, the shares are 2.3% higher ahead of the bell. Barrick Gold Corporation settled at $11.64 on Friday, and has added nearly 58% already in 2016, as traders flock to safe-haven equities while the broad market flounders. But some option traders aren't convinced. The stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX is 0.49 -- higher than 93% of all reading in the past year. Should ABX extend its journey higher, a mass exodus of option bears could add fuel to the fire.

  • Another strong performer -- climbing 23% already this year -- AUY is pointed 3.7% higher before the open, with help from a price-target hike to $2.50 from $2.00 at BMO. Yamana Gold Inc. had a rough 2015, and hit a 13-year low of $1.38 in mid-January, but has since rebounded to end at $2.29 on Friday. Still, eight out of 13 analysts call the equity a "hold" or worse, leaving plenty of room for future upgrades. Option traders would applaud a sustained rally, as AUY's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio shows more than 26 calls bought to open for each put over the last two weeks -- higher than 84% of comparable readings in the last 12 months.
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