July Idea of the Month — Fingerprints and Cash

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, July 19, 2013

This month I’ve been strongly considering whether or not a uranium-related investment makes sense — one of the reasons that my ears perked up when I was reading about Andy Obermueller’s tease of Cameco earlier in the week. Uranium should hit a pretty strong bull market as the end of the US/Russia warhead dismantling accord comes at the close of this year and reduces some of that inexpensive uranium supply for electricity generation … and the marginal supply increases from new mines are mostly from more expensive mines, which would mean that costs should rise. I don’t know if we’ll see “uranium mania” like we did back in 2006, when the price went up dramatically and dragged all the uranium explorers along with it, but we should see prices rise over the next couple years.

But though I came close to recommending some combination of Denison Mines (DNN — I hold a few call option contracts on that one), Uranium Participation (U.TO or URPTF on the pinks, a fund managed by Denison that simply owns uranium as an investment and trades at a discount) or big Cameco (CCJ), I decided that I want to wait. The increase in pricing for nuclear fuel is likely but not guaranteed from these levels, and there is a lot of potential low-cost supply in Canada and, perhaps more importantly, in Kazakhstan that I don’t understand very well. Frankly, with Japan now taking the first steps to re-starting their nuclear reactors I may be missing the boat by holding off now — but I think I’ll wait and see if we have some sort of bad news around nuclear power to shake it down a bit further. Maybe I’ll change my mind on that, but for now I’m holding off.

And you know that I did make one change in my personal portfolio and in the Gumshoe Universe this week, ditching Sandstorm Metals & Energy (SND.V and STTYF) after some careful consideration. It’s just not cheap enough for the level of risk they still have, not with their heavy reliance on one mine and their continuing run of either bad luck or bad decisions.

But what’s worth buying now? The overall market is not cheap, so I’m personally most attracted either to those picks that still trade at a deep discount to the market or those who have a good ...

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