George Soros, one of the world's best-known and savviest investor, has been bulking up his holdings of gold and silver stocks.
According to his latest 13F Securities and Exchange Commission filing from May 2014, instead of buying physical gold and silver, Soros has been building positions in precious metal mining companies. That's likely because some mining firms stand to benefit more than metals themselves when prices rally because of the essential leverage in the business.
Following are a look at seven gold and silver stocks that Soros has been buying.
Seven Gold and Silver Stocks from Soros' 13F
AuRico Gold Inc. (NYSE: AUQ) was a new position for Soros in Q1. Soros accumulated 1,587,650 AUQ shares valued at $6,906,000 in Q1 2014. Founded in 1986 and based in Toronto, Canada, AUQ is a gold producer with mines and projects throughout North America. Its core operation is the Young-Davidson gold mines, consisting of mineral leases and claims totaling 11,000 acres in northern Ontario. Additional mines are located in Mexico. In May, the company reported an increase in revenue thanks to its seventh consecutive quarter of record gold production. AUQ also reaffirmed its FY2014 rosy guidance. Q3 will be telling for AUQ as it transitions from an open-pit mine at Young-Davidson to underground mining at a higher grade. The higher grade should move its mining costs in the right direction. This gold stock is up 18% year to date.
Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) is the world's largest producer of precious metals. It's also involved in exploration and mine developments. The Toronto, Canada-based company has interests in properties dotted around the globe from Australia to Zambia. Over the last two years, Barrick has moved to clean up its balance and pay off debt. The company is reportedly ready to shed its aging Golden Sunlight Mine in southwestern Montana. Meanwhile, Barrick has assembled a diverse portfolio of potentially lucrative projects. Soros held 6,770,100 shares valued at $120,711,000 at the end of Q1 2014. ABX is up 8.5% year to date.
Gold Corp. (NYSE: GG) was another new addition to the Soros portfolio in Q1. Soros snapped up 42,000 shares valued at $10.8 million in Q1. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Gold Corp is one of the fastest-growing, lowest-cost senior gold producers. Operations and development projects are in politically stable jurisdictions throughout North, Central, and South America. Its strong project pipeline is positioned to drive long-term, sustainable growth. Citigroup rates GG a "Buy" and says it's "one of the few large gold producers who we estimate will deliver meaningful low-cost growth ounces over the next several years." GG is also a reliable dividend payer. This gold stock is up 33% in 2014.
New Gold Inc. (NYSEMKT: NGD) was also a fresh add to Soros' holdings in Q1. The hedge fund titan bought 1,156,205 NGD shares worth $5,642,000 in Q1 2014. Headquartered in Vancouver, NGD is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, and operation of mineral properties primarily for gold, silver, and copper. Operating properties are peppered around the globe. Tuesday, New Gold announced a 24% increase in its New Afton C-zone mineral resources. "It is exciting to see both the continued growth of New Afton's global mineral resource as we target its deeper extensions as well as the successful conversion of Inferred resources to the Measured and Indicated categories as we confirm the continuity of mineralization within the C-zone," Mark Petersen, vice president exploration said in a statement. "With four drills currently active, we are already in the midst of the second phase of our 2014 exploration program, the results of which will be included in our 2014 year-end resource update and will form the basis for an internal preliminary economic evaluation."
Pan American Silver Corp. (Nasdaq: PAAS) explores and develops silver-producing properties and assets in Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia. It also produces and sells gold, zinc, lead, and copper. Monday, Deutsche Bank reiterated its "Hold" rating for PAAS and upped its price target to $16 from $15. Yield seekers find its 3.3% yield appealing. At the end of Q1, Soros held 804,900 shares worth some $10,824,000. This silver stock has gained more than 33% this year.
Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE: SLW) was also a new Soros position in Q1. The legendary investor purchased 400,000 shares of this silver stock, valued at $9.1 million. SLW operates as a global precious metals streaming company. Vancouver-based Silver Wheaton has 20 long-term purchase agreements and one early deposit long-term purchase agreement associated with silver and/or gold relating to 24 different mining assets. Morgan Stanley analysts boosted their target price on shares of SLW on Tuesday from $25.00 to $27.30. Morgan Stanley's price target points to a potential upside of 3.21% from the SLW's previous close. The silver stock is up 35% this year.
Yamana Gold Inc. (NYSE: AUY) was yet another new Soros addition. Soros Fund Management amassed 2.2 million shares valued at more than $19 million in the Canadian mining company in Q1. Based in Toronto, Yamana has precious metal properties and land position throughout the Americas, including in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Mexico. In June, Yamana and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) jointly completed an acquisition of the Osisko Mining Corp. Yamana's production profile is poised to increase significantly following the buy, rising from 1.5 million-1.7 million ounces of gold to 1.8 million-2 million ounces of gold. That represents an average annual increase of about 19% over the next five years. AUY has actually dipped slightly this year, down just under 1%.
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- The Wall Street Journal: Soros Sells Out of J.P Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup