Upbeat view of St Barbara, Kingston

ANALYSTS from Morgan Stanley and Canaccord Genuity have upgraded price targets for most of the Australian gold producers under their coverage.
Upbeat view of St Barbara, Kingston Upbeat view of St Barbara, Kingston Upbeat view of St Barbara, Kingston Upbeat view of St Barbara, Kingston Upbeat view of St Barbara, Kingston

Kingston at work on its Misima gold project in PNG

Gold futures rose as high as US$1760 an ounce this week, close to seven-year highs, and remain at about $1750/oz.
 
Morgan Stanley said the current price was above its June quarter bull case forecast of $1736/oz.
"US 10-year real rates have turned negative, and the yield curve has inverted - both strong bullish signals for gold leading to ETF holdings are at peak levels and futures positioning heavily long," analysts said. 
 
"Our bull case forecast for December quarter is at $1900/oz and could be tested."
Canaccord has upgraded its 2025 forward-curve pricing assumptions for US dollar gold by 6.3% to $1824/oz, with nearer-term (2020-2023) prices increasing by an average of 5.8%. 
 
The 2020 forecast was lifted by 3.8% to $1696/oz.
 
Assuming an Australian dollar exchange rate of 64c, Canaccord's long-term Australian gold price assumption is up 2% to A$2864/oz.
 
The bullish view of both banks has led to price target updates for many producers.
 
A record run for Evolution Mining led both firms to downgrade their recommendation from buy/overweight to hold/equal-weight, but price targets were lifted from $5.40 to $5.85 at Canaccord and from $4.30 to $4.70 at Morgan Stanley.
 
Evolution shares hit an all-time high intraday on Wednesday of $6.195 and was sitting at $6.13 this morning, a gain of 61% so far in 2020.
 
Morgan Stanley said gold miners were showing value on a multiples basis.
 
"In the last year, our gold coverage's average forward 12m EV/EBITDA has fallen circa 13% to 6.3x, and are trading an average of 7% below three-year averages. 
"If we assume our coverage returns to respective peak multiples of 7-11x, we find 30% upside for all but Evolution."
 
While the six producers covered by Morgan Stanley are currently implying an average gold price of just over US$2000/oz on a discounted cashflow basis, its blended base case valuation averages $1709/oz.
 
"All bar Evolution are at or below spot, with Regis Resources and St Barbara the lowest at $1499/oz and $1377/oz respectively."
 
Morgan Stanley has overweight ratings for Newcrest Mining (price target up A$3.90 to $32.80), Regis (PT up 55c to $6.05) and St Barbara (PT up 30c to $3.65).
 
Newcrest is the bank's top pick with Regis and St Barbara showing the most upside.
 
Analysts said equal-weight Saracen Mineral Holdings was showing fair value, and expects underweight Northern Star Resources to have cost difficulties at Pogo and other sites in FY20. 
 
Over at Canaccord, it lifted its valuations for producers by an average of 5%.
 
Like Evolution, Silver Lake Resources was downgraded to hold from buy after its shares hit a seven-year high this week. 
 
Saracen is Canaccord's top pick with a buy rating and price target of $6.10, up 20c. The stock closed at an all-time high of $5.69 on Tuesday.
 
St Barbara is also a favourite at Canaccord among intermediate producers, along with Resolute Mining, OceanaGold Corp and new producer Gold Road Resources.
 
All have buy ratings, along with Northern Star, Perseus Mining and Westgold Resources. Canaccord's top developer pick is Bellevue Gold with a speculative buy rating and price target of $1.35, up 5c.
 
The firm also has speculative buy ratings for smaller producers Red 5 and Dacian Gold, as well as developers Capricorn Metals, Breaker Resources, Kingston Resources and Matador Mining.
 
 

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