Jaguar Mining Shares Drop On RBC Downgrade

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Shares of Brazilian gold producer Jaguar Mining Inc. fell 8 percent Wednesday after an RBC Capital Markets analyst downgraded the company's stock, citing concerns about its attempt to sell itself or its divisions and its ability to fund a new gold mine.

THE SPARK: Analyst Michael Curran downgraded Jaguar Mining to "Underperform" from "Sector Perform" in a note to clients Wednesday. He also cut his price target on the company's stock to $3.50 from $6.

THE BIG PICTURE: Jaguar Mining is involved in a strategic review process that could end with the entire company, or its divisions, being sold. The company has kept many details of the review secret. Late last month, Jaguar said it expects to wrap up the process during the second quarter.

If the company is sold at a premium price, it could mean a windfall for shareholders. If Jaguar Mining can't find a buyer, or can only sell a small unit, it could prompt some investors to head for the door.

THE ANALYSIS: Curran said he is concerned Jaguar Mining won't be able to find a buyer, and that the company might not be able to raise enough money to fund future projects.

"We maintain our view that a premium takeover bid remains a low probability event," Curran said in the note. He said potential buyers could be turned off by Jaguar Mining's disappointing results in recent quarters.

Jaguar Mining did not immediately return a call Wednesday seeking comment on Curran's downgrade.

For all of 2011 Jaguar Mining reported a net loss of $65.6 million, compared to net income of $22.2 million the year before.

Curran said most buyers would likely prefer to buy a single mining project, like the Gurupi mine. The Gurupi project is an open pit mine that could produce 150,000 ounces of gold a year starting in 2014.

Curran said Jaguar Mining will have a hard time getting the money it needs to develop Gurupi. He estimated it could cost $350 million, and Jaguar would have to raise about $275 million this year for the project.

"With an already constrained balance sheet, coupled with recent weak operating results, we see financing for Gurupi as the next major challenge for Jaguar to address," Curran wrote.

The company said it had $74.5 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand at the end of 2011.

THE SHARES: Amid a broader market slump, Jaguar Mining shares fell 36 cents, or 7.8 percent, to close at $4.23. The stock has been steadily dropping since February, and shares are down about 34 percent for the year.

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