Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX) and Pershing Gold Corporation (NASDAQ:PGLC) are both basic materials companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations, risk and institutional ownership.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

55.7% of Barrick Gold Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 19.7% of Pershing Gold Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 39.8% of Pershing Gold Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Barrick Gold Corporation and Pershing Gold Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Barrick Gold Corporation 26.95% 8.91% 3.71%
Pershing Gold Corporation N/A -43.00% -40.70%

Dividends

Barrick Gold Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Pershing Gold Corporation does not pay a dividend. Barrick Gold Corporation pays out 5.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility & Risk

Barrick Gold Corporation has a beta of -0.34, suggesting that its stock price is 134% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pershing Gold Corporation has a beta of 0.93, suggesting that its stock price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Barrick Gold Corporation and Pershing Gold Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Barrick Gold Corporation $8.77 billion 2.13 $4.42 billion $2.02 7.94
Pershing Gold Corporation N/A N/A -$14.71 million ($0.59) -4.92

Barrick Gold Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Pershing Gold Corporation. Pershing Gold Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Barrick Gold Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Barrick Gold Corporation and Pershing Gold Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Barrick Gold Corporation 0 8 5 0 2.38
Pershing Gold Corporation 0 0 3 0 3.00

Barrick Gold Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $19.99, suggesting a potential upside of 24.70%. Pershing Gold Corporation has a consensus target price of $7.88, suggesting a potential upside of 171.55%. Given Pershing Gold Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Pershing Gold Corporation is more favorable than Barrick Gold Corporation.

Summary

Barrick Gold Corporation beats Pershing Gold Corporation on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Barrick Gold Corporation

Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) is a gold mining company. The Company is principally engaged in the production and sale of gold and copper, as well as related activities, such as exploration and mine development. The Company’s segments include Goldstrike, Cortez, Pueblo Viejo, Lagunas Norte, Veladero, Turquoise Ridge, Acacia Mining plc (Acacia), Pascua-Lama and Other Mines. Goldstrike, Cortez, Pueblo Viejo, Lagunas Norte, Veladero and Turquoise Ridge are its individual gold mines. The Company, through its subsidiary, Acacia, owns gold mines and exploration properties in Africa. It also holds interest in gold mines, including Porgera and Kalgoorlie, and copper mines, such as Zaldivar and Lumwana. The Pascua-Lama project is located on the border between Chile and Argentina. The Company has nine producing gold mines, which are located in Canada, the United States, Peru, Argentina, Australia and the Dominican Republic.

About Pershing Gold Corporation

Pershing Gold Corporation is a gold and precious metals exploration company. The Company focuses on exploration, development and mining opportunities in Nevada. The Company is focused on exploration at its Relief Canyon properties in Pershing County in northwestern Nevada. The Company operates its business directly and also through its subsidiary, Gold Acquisition Corp. Gold Acquisition Corp. owns and is engaged in conducting exploration on the Relief Canyon Mine property in northwestern Nevada. The Company is engaged in conducting exploration on the Relief Canyon expansion properties. The Relief Canyon Mine includes approximately three open pit mines, heap leach pads consisting of approximately six cells, approximately two solution ponds and a cement block constructed adsorption desorption-recovery (ADR) solution processing circuit. The Pershing Pass property includes approximately 490 lode mining claims. The Company has not generated any revenues.

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