Investors Shorting GLD will profit if gold prices continue lower. On the supply side, shorting mining companies can be tricky. Most mine several products and lower prices can take a long time to impact depending on how much a company is hedged (already sold future production). Few companies are not at least in part hedged; however, shorting mining companies is not for the faint of heart.
The DB Gold Short ETN DGZ (SFLY) offers equity similar to an ETF, but unlike GLD, share price should rise as gold falls. DGZ is thinly traded; however the spread is tight with large bid and asks. Owning a "short" ETN has other hazards, resulting in DGZ not being appropriate for most long term investors.
There are other ways to profit from falling gold prices without shorting. On the demand side, companies that consume gold have lower input costs with lower gold prices. Jewelry stores reportedly use over 80% of gold consumed each year. Naturally, one can expect jewelry stores to benefit from lower costs. Coins and bullion make up the next largest consumer, followed by the electronics industry (gold is a great conductor of electricity).Tiffany & Co. (TIF - Get Report) through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, manufacture, and retail of fine jewelry. Tiffany trades an average of 1.6 million shares per day and has a marketcap of $7.8 billion. Tiffany is the largest public company by market cap in the jewelry industry I reviewed. Tiffany sells much more than jewelry, however, I find Tiffany desirable because of their wide product offering. Signet Jewelers (SIG - Get Report) shares trade an average of 686,000 shares per day, and the company has a market cap of $3.9 billion. Signet pays a 48 cent dividend yielding 1%. Signet is reporting earnings this month, so expect increased volatility in price. Estimates per share are between 90 cents and $1.01. Blue Nile (NILE - Get Report) operates as an online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry. The company has a market cap of $398 million. Blue Nile reported a record year in 2011 -- $348 million in sales. Blue Nile trades at a 24,000 gold premium with a forward price-to-earnings multiple of 37. Short sellers have jumped on Blue Nile; a massive 29% of the float is sold short. Up to now shorts have called it correctly, with share prices making recent 52-week lows.
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