COLUMN-Think gold is a poor investment? Try gold miners: Clyde Russell

Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:13am EDT
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--Clyde Russell is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.--

By Clyde Russell

LAUNCESTON, Australia, June 12 (Reuters) - While it has been a dreadful few months for gold bugs, it has been worse for investors in gold mining companies.

Major gold miners have tended to perform worse than exchange traded funds not only during the sell-off of the precious metal since April, but also since the record high reached in September 2011.

Newcrest Mining Ltd, Australia's biggest gold miner, was the latest producer to disappoint investors, issuing a profit warning and announcing plans to slash up to $6 billion in asset values, reduce costs and cut planned expansions.

The stock has shed almost 11 percent of its value since the June 7 statement, adding to losses suffered in recent years.

Newcrest shares fell to A$16.92 ($17.83) during the 2008 global financial crisis, before rallying 155 percent to a high of A$43.17 in November 2010.

Since then the stock has been pushed lower by 72 percent as the company battled rising costs and a gold price that has trended lower.   Continued...