By Request: What’s Going on With Sandstorm?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, November 15, 2012

I’ve had several questions about Sandstorm Gold (SAND) come rolling in this week, because the stock that seemingly felt no gravity suddenly felt it good and hard over the last few days, falling a couple bucks from their all-time highs.

There isn’t any big news, but there are a few pieces of relatively small news — Brigus Gold bought back part of their gold stream, as was their contractual right, so that shrinks down SAND’s gold stream and cash flow slightly (in exchange for a one-time cash repayment); and, perhaps more importantly, Jim Cramer said something wishy-washy about the company that was widely interpreted as a “sell” earlier in the week.

Now, neither of those is a $150-200 million thing in my mind — and that’s how much value SAND lost in a few days this week, from highs to lows. Cramer’s comment was basically just that “if gold goes down, so will Sandstorm” — a caution that we’re wise to remember but that doesn’t mean anything right now, gold has not changed in price substantially this week. And the Brigus buyback, though it’s unfortunate because it does cut into expected cash flow, is not huge and is a buyback, not a loss — meaning, they were paid for the lost cash flow.

But really, the more significant point is probably this: Sandstorm Gold’s share price was off like a rocket following the NY listing a few months ago, and despite the fact that they didn’t do any new transformative deals during that time, the stock price was up by about 50% during three months in which the price of gold went up by seven or eight percent.

Given that, it’s hard to blame people for taking some profits on any excuse — whether that excuse is Jim Cramer’s cautionary tone, the Brigus deal, or just selling before the end of the year in the face of political or economic panic. My opinion has not fundamentally changed on Sandstorm, and it remains my core gold position — when the price got up to almost $15 it was at pretty much the same valuation as Royal Gold on a forward estimated PE basis. That may be fair, given the smaller company’s growth prospects weighted against its higher risks, but it doesn’t indicate that SAND is particularly cheap. Now that it’s fallen a couple bucks, I feel a bit better ...

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