Shares of gold and platinum group metals miner Sibanye Stillwater (NYSE:SBSW) shot 10% higher at the open on Aug. 14. The big news was the company's release telling investors that the company would release earnings on Aug. 27. Also included, however, was a preview on the company's performance.
The headline number from the update is that Sibanye expects basic earnings to come in at $0.21 per share in the first half of 2020. That's up from a loss of $0.11 in the same span of 2019. The company cited a few reasons for the improvement, including strong operating results, but the big story was really "significantly higher" gold prices (an increase of about 45% year over year). That said, platinum group metals prices were also higher. Obviously, investors were pleased with this earnings news.
On the operating front, gold production increased 17% year over year. Which means that production has increased as gold prices are rising, providing a double benefit. The company's platinum group metals production also advanced, rising 5% year over year. Once again, more production and higher prices. Although Sibanye Stillwater is facing headwinds from COVID-19, the positives are clearly outweighing the negatives right now.
Precious metals are notoriously volatile, prone to often large and swift price swings. The recent gold and platinum rallies have been very good for Sibanye Stillwater. However, with the stock up 27% so far in 2020, and a huge 200% or more from its early-year lows, there's a lot of good news priced into the stock today. Investors should probably tread with caution at this point.