US Markets rise slightly, Aug. 20-24

U.S. markets swung upward, as gold gained 1.7% to end the trading week at US$1,205.30. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index rose 2.6% to 67.68 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 0.4% to 25,790.35. The S&P 500 Index also went up 0.8% to 2,874.69.

Shares of Sibanye Gold rose 10% to US$2.31. Despite losing 21 workers so far this year to fatalities, Sibanye reported strong operating and financial results for the first half of 2018. The company’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the first half lifted 26% to US$316 million. Its basic earnings were up to US$5.4 million with headline earnings of US$7.1 million, compared to losses of US$339 million and US$155 in the previous year.

On the operations side, Sibanye cut all-in sustaining costs by 2% to US$821 per oz. platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (4E) at its South African platinum group metals operations. Production dropped slightly to 569,166 oz. 4E compared to the same period last year, but came in line with 2018 guidance.

Shares of AngloGold Ashanti rose 8% to US$7.82, as the company also reported strong financial and operating results for the first half of 2018. The company had US$85 million adjusted headline earnings — a vast improvement over losses of US$93 million over the same period of the previous year. The company attributed the improvement to better operating performance and a higher gold price.

The company’s net debt also declined 17% year-on-year to US$1.7 billion, with free cash flow down to a US$51-million outflow, compared to a US$161-million outflow the previous year. The company produced 1.6 million oz. gold in the first half of 2018, down from 1.7 million oz. gold the previous year — but its all-in sustaining costs fell 5% to US$1,020 per oz. gold.

Anglo’s CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan is stepping down and will be replaced by Barrick Gold president Kevin Dushnisky.

Shares of Arch Coal fell 2.1% to US$87.88. The company continued its share repurchase program by buying back 3.8%, or 960,000 of its own outstanding shares, for nearly US$78 million. The company started the program in May 2017, and since then has spent US$419 million buying back 5.3 million shares.


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