Some investors refuse to seriously consider gold and silver producers as legitimate choices for investment capital.
Where such decisions are based upon thorough and objective research, I take no issue.
Unfortunately, I observe that many refusals to invest in the sector are born of suppositions, misconceptions, and even prejudices. The result, often, is that decisions are made to avoid the sector without a trace of real consideration.
All the while, one company in particular continues to shine so brightly that it commands the attention of every Fool ... whether you view silver as a de facto currency or merely an industrial commodity. If you haven't taken a long, hard look at Silver Wheaton
As the world's only silver stream specialist, Silver Wheaton resides in a class all its own. With silver prices showing persistent strength under the shadow of gold, the company's fixed-cost business model permitted a 44% expansion of cash operating margin for the second quarter to a healthy $14.45 (for each of the 5.1 million silver equivalent ounces (SEOs) sold during the period). Fool favorite Hecla Mining
More impressive still, record earnings of $0.16 per share ($53.3 million) represent a 129% year-over-year increase, even after absorbing the impact of shares issued in connection with the strategic acquisition of a silver stream from Barrick Gold's
At the intersection between rising sales volume (up 74%) and an expanding operating margin, the brightest indicator of Silver Wheaton's strength stands for all to see: a net profit margin of 56%! That's a 1,200-basis-point surge over the prior-year margin, and any additional price gains in silver stand to improve that margin further still.
For serious silver investors stymied by disappointing bottom-line results from Coeur d'Alene Mines
Silver Wheaton shares have appreciated nearly 700% since I highlighted an unmistakable opportunity back in 2008, and more recently I expressed my expectation for the stock to reach $100 before this precious-metals bull market has finished running its course. So whether you view silver through the lens of a hard currency in a world of papier-mache, or a commodity play on rising industrial demand, what exactly are you Wheaton for?
More than 1,900 CAPS members, including 600-plus All Stars, have selected four-star pick Silver Wheaton to outperform the S&P 500. Create your own portfolio at Motley Fool CAPS and get on your way to becoming an All-Star investor. It's free and fun!
Fool contributor Christopher Barker carries a silver coin which reads: "Honest value never fails." He can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. He tweets. He owns shares of Coeur d'Alene Mines, Hecla Mining, and Silver Wheaton. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is .999 pure.