Week 35: Continuing to Move away from Gold: Out of OceanaGold, Canaco Resources, into Pan Orient Energy, Newcastle Investments
Sold the Gold Sell-off
This was the week where I got fed-up with gold stocks doing nothing and began to sell them en masse. I completely eliminated my position in OceanaGold, and in Canaco Resources. I dramatically reduced my position in Aurizon Mines, and somewhat reduced my position in Lydian International.
I do have to wonder whether the $90 drop in the price of gold was orchestrated. Interestingly, mention of such a possibility came from a rather unlikely place on Thursday, as I was sent the following excerpt from Dennis Gartman, who was quoting from a friend “near the centre of the events”:
Whether or not the plunge was orchestrated, I had to start removing dead weight from my portfolio and this provided a good excuse. As the price of gold fell and OceanaGold and Canaco Resources began to crack, I asked myself what am I still doing in these stocks? I couldn’t come up with a good answer so I sold.
In the case of OceanaGold and to a lessor extent in the case of Aurizon Mines, the catalyst that could move the share price higher remains somewhat in the distance. I am not seeing anything like the takeover frenzy that has been predicted by some, and so these stocks become waiting games; lined with the hope that either the market catches onto the name and bids it up, or that some sort of (lucky) catalyst emerges. I have not had very much luck investing on such hopes in the past.
In the case of Canaco Resources, I re-read my analysis of Magambazi. That analysis got a lot of attention during the early part of the week as it was posted on Stockhouse (by some guy who seems to be taking credit for doing the work – sigh). While I still question whether there is an error in my analysis, I do think I raised enough questions about the deposit, and enough uncertainty about the eventual resource estimate to be somewhat wary of the NI 43-101 that will be out shortly. I decided to step aside until that resource comes out, or the share price falls back to the point where I feel like the downside is priced in.
Adding to Newcastle, Pan Orient, Leader Energy Services
The other part of my reasoning for selling some of the gold names is I see better alternatives elsewhere. With oil at $100 per bbl I would rather be involved in oil companies with near term catalysts (Pan Orient) and service companies poised to take advantage of the move to drilling for more oil (Leader).
In the case of Newcastle, I listened to the fourth quarter conference call and reviewed the companies slides on mortgage servicing rights. This appears to be an opportunity that has been overlooked by the market. Newcastle is investing money into MSR’s with potential rates of return exceding 20%. If they inded capture these sort of returns, I expect a significant dividend increase and a move in the share price to around $10. I will write-up some of my findings with Newcastle later this week.