Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM) and Pershing Gold Corporation (NASDAQ:PGLC) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership, earnings and profitabiliy.

Dividends

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Pershing Gold Corporation does not pay a dividend. Agnico Eagle Mines Limited pays out 36.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Pershing Gold Corporation has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Agnico Eagle Mines Limited and Pershing Gold Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Agnico Eagle Mines Limited $2.21 billion 4.66 $932.83 million $1.09 40.87
Pershing Gold Corporation N/A N/A -$14.69 million ($0.59) -4.88

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited has higher revenue and earnings than Pershing Gold Corporation. Pershing Gold Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Agnico Eagle Mines Limited and Pershing Gold Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Agnico Eagle Mines Limited 1 3 6 0 2.50
Pershing Gold Corporation 0 0 3 0 3.00

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited presently has a consensus price target of $55.36, suggesting a potential upside of 24.26%. Pershing Gold Corporation has a consensus price target of $7.88, suggesting a potential upside of 173.44%. Given Pershing Gold Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Pershing Gold Corporation is more favorable than Agnico Eagle Mines Limited.

Risk & Volatility

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited has a beta of -0.67, meaning that its stock price is 167% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pershing Gold Corporation has a beta of 0.93, meaning that its stock price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Agnico Eagle Mines Limited and Pershing Gold Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Agnico Eagle Mines Limited 11.32% 5.38% 3.40%
Pershing Gold Corporation N/A -40.82% -38.78%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

60.7% of Agnico Eagle Mines Limited shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 19.0% of Pershing Gold Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.5% of Agnico Eagle Mines Limited shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 39.8% of Pershing Gold Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited beats Pershing Gold Corporation on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited is a gold producer with mining operations in northwestern Quebec, northern Mexico, northern Finland and Nunavut and exploration activities in Canada, Europe, Latin America and the United States. The Company operates through three business units. The Northern Business consists of its operations in Canada and Finland. The Company’s Canadian properties include the LaRonde mine, the Lapa mine, the Goldex mine, the Meadowbank mine and the Meliadine project, and Canadian Malartic Mine. The operations in Finland include the Kittila mine. The Southern Business consists of its operations in Mexico. Its Pinos Altos mine includes the Creston Mascota deposit. The La India mine is owned by its indirect subsidiary. Its Exploration group focuses on the identification of new mineral reserves and mineral resources, and new development opportunities in gold producing regions. Its exploration activities are concentrated in Canada, Europe, Latin America and the United States.

About Pershing Gold Corporation

Pershing Gold Corporation is a gold and precious metals exploration company. The Company focuses on exploration, development and mining opportunities in Nevada. The Company is focused on exploration at its Relief Canyon properties in Pershing County in northwestern Nevada. The Company operates its business directly and also through its subsidiary, Gold Acquisition Corp. Gold Acquisition Corp. owns and is engaged in conducting exploration on the Relief Canyon Mine property in northwestern Nevada. The Company is engaged in conducting exploration on the Relief Canyon expansion properties. The Relief Canyon Mine includes approximately three open pit mines, heap leach pads consisting of approximately six cells, approximately two solution ponds and a cement block constructed adsorption desorption-recovery (ADR) solution processing circuit. The Pershing Pass property includes approximately 490 lode mining claims. The Company has not generated any revenues.

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