U.S. gold futures for February delivery were gaining 1.3% to $1,219.20 on the COMEX Tuesday afternoon. Gold spot prices on the Shanghai Gold Exchange rose to their highest levels since Dec. 18 on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.
Gold prices were climbing for three days due to political uncertainty in Greece leading up to the country's Jan. 25 presidential election.
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"The precious metal is in demand as traders want to hedge their position against Greek-exit uncertainty," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Capital Markets told Bloomberg. The analyst said that there was a "very slim" chance that Greece would leave the euro zone, but added that investors "do not want to put themselves under a situation where they are not hedged."
TheStreet Ratings team rates AURICO GOLD INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate AURICO GOLD INC (AUQ) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- AURICO GOLD INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, AURICO GOLD INC reported poor results of -$0.77 versus -$0.44 in the prior year.
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 205.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $14.86 million to -$15.72 million.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $2.79 million or 88.54% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
- The share price of AURICO GOLD INC has not done very well: it is down 10.39% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, AURICO GOLD INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: AUQ Ratings Report