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First Majestic Silver Corp (AG): Time for a Turnaround in Precious Metals?

After losing tremendous weight in recent months, gold and silver stocks are looking leaner and fit for a rally. There are some fundamental reasons behind this positive take on precious metal stocks such as First Majestic Silver Corp (NYSE:AG) , Alamos Gold Inc (NYSE:AGI) and AuRico Gold Inc (USA) (NYSE:AUQ). Here is a closer look:

First Majestic surged (but then fell)

First Majestic Silver Corp (NYSE:AG) has a majority of mining operations based in Mexico with some retail and trading presence in Canada and Europe. The stock has traded in the range of $8.81 – $24.20 in the last 52 weeks and currently trades at $11. After hitting a peak in November, the stock has lost nearly half of its market capitalization.

However, last week has been rewarding for investors who stuck to their guns as the stock surged 24%. Apart from analysts predicting that the worst is over for precious metals, First Majestic Silver Corp (NYSE:AG) has also benefited from some positive developments.

First Majestic Silver Corp (NYSE:AG)Early this month, it received a payment of nearly $14 million as partial compensation under a judgment that could eventually bring $93.84 million to the company. The stock received a buy rating from Zacks while analysts at BMO Capital Markets also upgraded the stock to outperform. Investors can’t be sure if the correction in silver is over yet but the fact that the stock is available at a forward price earnings ratio of 5.3 and debt equity ratio of 0.3 indicates that First Majestic Silver Corp (NYSE:AG) is well positioned to take advantage of a possible recovery.

Here cometh gold

Prices of the yellow metal jumped nearly 6% last week and positive momentum in the SPDR Gold Trust in the same period is a vindication the tide may be turning in gold. In line with this, Alamos Gold shot up by double digits last week. There are a number of positives with this stock.

For its 2013 guidance, the company said it expects to mine 180,000 to 200,000 ounces of gold at a cash operating cost per ounce sold of $415 to $435 per ounce. These are among the lowest costs for gold mining and the fact that the company is free of debt tells us that it will continue to pay dividends even if gold prices decline further. In addition, the company is undertaking a share repurchase program which is the biggest factor for a stock price increase.

AuRico Gold sales boost

In line with other precious metal companies, Toronto-based gold producer AuRico Gold has seen pretty rough days. Its six-month share price loss stands at 40% and its current price of $4.60 is at the lower end of its 52 week range of $4.01 – $8.56. This steep decline has brought the stock in line with fundamentals and almost in the value buy territory. A huge 41% discount to its book value of $7.7 per share is an example of this undervaluation. At the same time, it offers a dividend yield of 3.5%.

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