Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Is This the Michael Jordan of Gold Miners?

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

In the grueling sport of gold mining, Randgold Resources (Nasdaq: GOLD  ) has dominated the competition like a Michael Jordan or a Larry Bird in their prime.

Over the past five years, shares of Randgold have absolutely creamed those of major producers including Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM  ) and Goldcorp (NYSE: GG  ) . Even two of this Fool's favorite mid-tier growth stories -- my 2009 top pick, Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM  ) , and Fortune Magazine growth-list leader Eldorado Gold (NYSE: EGO  ) -- have failed to keep pace with Randgold's breathtaking gain of more than 500% over the five-year period.

Third-quarter earnings provide a timely update on this golden athlete's performance and a chance to evaluate the miner's potential to continue dominating the field going forward. Randgold's earnings of $28.2 million were better by 108% than the prior-year mark. Looking only at earnings and share-price appreciation, Fools might never imagine the obstacles that Randgold overcame to deliver those results.

Last year, I honed in on a couple of red flags that caused me some concern for Randgold, but those issues no longer apply. I am decidedly allergic to gold hedges in a rising price environment of the magnitude we are presently witnessing, so I am pleased to report that Randgold will fulfill the last of its hedge obligations by the end of 2010. Another red-flag item that gave me pause last year -- a set of deep-underwater positions in auction rate securities -- is also now behind the company.

Randgold hit some challenging operational snags during 2010, including a spate of power outages and some difficulty ramping-up a plant expansion at the company's flagship Luolo mine in Mali. With those issues now resolved, however, the stage has been set for some explosive production growth. As CEO Mark Bristow explains: "This year's challenges have now all been dealt with. We're looking at an 80% to 90% increase in gold production in the current December quarter, and an overall 50% increase in production next year."

That 50% growth spurt would bring the miner to some 675,000 of gold production in 2011, and a targeted start-up of the highly prospective Kibali mine could spur Randgold to the 1-million-ounce threshold of annual production by 2013. With that achievement, and especially if the company continues to exhibit enormous exploration success and resulting reserve growth, Randgold will have set the bar rather high for rival mid-tier miners like Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY  ) to follow. Although I vastly prefer Yamana from a valuation perspective at this juncture, it appears Randgold will continue to contend for the honor of top athlete among the ranks of the mid-tier growth leaders.

Please take a moment to vote in our Motley Poll, and explain your answer in the comments section below. To keep a closer eye on Randgold Resources, simply add the stock to your Motley Fool watchlist by clicking here.

Fool contributor Christopher Barker can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. He tweets. He owns shares of Agnico-Eagle Mines, Eldorado Gold, and Yamana Gold. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a gilded disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (13)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1366692, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2016 8:20:33 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:02 PM
AEM $49.05 Down -0.12 -0.24%
Agnico-Eagle Mines CAPS Rating: **
AUY $3.82 Down -0.07 -1.80%
Yamana Gold CAPS Rating: ***
EGO $3.73 Down -0.03 -0.80%
Eldorado Gold CAPS Rating: **
GG $15.51 Up +0.11 +0.71%
Goldcorp CAPS Rating: ***
GOLD $86.94 Up +0.01 +0.01%
Rand Gold Resource… CAPS Rating: ***
NEM $36.35 Down -0.66 -1.78%
Newmont Mining CAPS Rating: ***