AUY also explores for copper, molybdenum, zinc and silver metals. The company's portfolio of properties includes seven operating gold mines, including Chapada mine, Jacobina mining complex, and Fazenda Brasileiro mine in Brazil; El Peñón mine and Minera Florida mine in Chile; Gualcamayo mine in Argentina; and Mercedes mine in Mexico.

It also has a 12.5% indirect interest in the Alumbrera copper/gold/molybdenum mine in Argentina, as well as holding interests in various other advanced and near development stage projects and exploration properties in Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

The concern about the Argentine political imbroglio has apparently been priced into AUY shares. Yamana Gold Inc. was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

It's my sincere hope you'll immerse yourself in its well organized Web site and see why this company has been so successful at meeting its production goals.

Yamana has taken on some manageable debt with acquisitions that are already beginning to pay off. Its 39% operating margin and almost 19% trailing 12-month profit margin speak to the potential profits ahead. AUY is trading at less than 12 times forward earnings and has $1.11 billion (trailing 12-month) in operating cash flow and almost $73 million in levered free cash flow.

It raised its dividend payout to 26 cents, which computes to a yield-to-price of 1.6% -- close to the yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury bond. I expect to see a 20% upside move in the stock price over the next 10 months, especially when earnings-per-share growth is reestablished to their historical norms.

Eldorado Gold ( EGO) is the other gold-producing company that has captured the attention of precious metals company analysts.

EGO has the biggest growth trajectory of any large gold producer, low operating costs, conservative management and strong financials. It's $9.1 billion market cap (compared to Yamana's $12.2 billion) speaks to the quality of its properties, production rates and their management.

As it says about itself, Eldorado Gold "is a Canadian international gold producer with seven operating mines, three mines under construction, three development projects and an extensive exploration program.

"We operate in China, Turkey, Brazil, Greece and Romania. We are one of the lowest-cost gold producers, with young mines, robust margins and a strong balance sheet. We pay a semi-annual dividend based on the ounces of gold sold and the realized gold price and are well-positioned for growth as we create and pursue new opportunities in gold and other resources. We plan to produce approximately 1.7 million ounces of gold annually by 2016."

With the situation in Europe (especially in Greece) starting to stabilize and gold prices poised for good upside during the rest of 2012, Eldorado's 47% operating margin and 27% profit margin should help their next quarterly earnings report .

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