What: McEwen Mining Inc.'s (NYSE:MUX) shares fell 12.9% last month. Despite that drop, they were still up just over 100% for the year to date period through May. A big part of that impressive showing was driven by the commodity rally that started in mid-January and lasted through April, before taking a breather in May. That commodity rally pushed McEwen shares up 145%.
So what: In early May gold and silver miner McEwen Mining reported earnings. The news was actually pretty good, with net income coming in at $0.04 a share, double the tally from the year ago period. And while realized selling prices were down year over year, sales volume gains were more than enough to compensate.
Now what: McEwen isn't a particularly large precious metals miner, but there's some interesting things to note about the company. For example, its all in costs per gold equivalent ounce are around $900, giving it some breathing room between its costs and the current price of gold. Second, and perhaps just as important, it has very little debt -- in fact, at the end of the first quarter it had no debt and roughly $45 million in liquid assets. And it was cash flow positive in the quarter, too. In some ways, McEwen looks pretty well situated compared to other miners.But McEwen is still a precious metals miner and changes in precious metals prices will have an outsize impact on investor perceptions. So with gold down around 6% and silver off about 11% in May, it shouldn't be surprising to see that McEwen's stock price fell last month.
For more aggressive investors willing to invest in a precious metals miner that's, simply put, not a household name, McEwen is probably worth a deeper dive. The shares will move along with precious metals prices, but it has a strong foundation that should hold up to any new storms and provide ample support for growth if precious metals prices head higher.