Analysts at Credit Suisse have today slashed their price targets for many companies in the Metals&Mining sector. In particular, their global commodities team has adjusted its commodity price forecasts, with the largest cuts having been made to iron ore and coking coal, along with minor changes elsewhere.
Following on from the above, they have lowered their 2013 earnings per share estimates (EPS) for the most majors by 15-40%: BHP (-14%), Rio Tinto (-39%), ENRC (-27%), Anglo American (-26%), Antofagasta (-1%), Kazahkmys (+12%), African Minerals (-80%), London Mining (-82%), Ferrexpo (-50%), Amplats (+2%), Impala (+1%), Aquarius Platinum (+143%) and Lonmin (-83%).
More specifically, they comment that: "the sector faces major headwinds through structurally slowing demand growth, falling margins and returns and weak cash flows. We continue to prefer companies that offer defensive margins and valuations, volume growth and lower execution risks. Our focus on valuations, FCF and dividendyields continues to favour the higher quality majors, RIO and BHP and, for a beta rally, we like AMI and LOND. Least preferred stocks: AAL, LMI, Amplats, KAZ."
Analysts at Credit Suisse have issued a short term trading sell on miner Antofagasta, on which they are broadly neutral, with a target price of 1,250p (up from 1,150p in fact).
The Swiss bank sees three short term drivers of underperformance. Firstly, consensus production estimates look too high by up to 10% over the period 2013-16. Secondly, the shares
have outperformed peers and the copper price and valuation is at the top end of its ten year range. Third, copper price may underperform other commodities in the near term (given the resilient performance year-to-date and improving mine supply in the second half of 2012).
Credit Suisse stresses that this is a trading call and that it continues to favour the the longer term outlook for copper and that Antofagasta has the qualities it looks for in a mining company longer term; "best in class balance sheet and operating cash flow margins, good disclosure and strong management and longer term growth optionality."
Leila Reddy, analyst at Panmure Gordon, has reiterated her "Buy" recommendation on Range Resources with a target price of 10p.
She comments that this price target is "on the back of rising production in Trinidad, supported by a funded drilling programme and, importantly, well results."
Thus and regarding the company's reserves upgrade, the broker points out that: "Following last year's operations, especially its drilling programme, Forest A. Garb and Associates, the independent petroleum consultants, have upgraded the Company's reserves estimates for its Trinidad assets.
The P50 unrisked prospective resources have been increased by 30.5 mmbbls to 40.5 mmbbls, led by the identified Herrera prospects that have been mapped on the Company's 3D seismic database, which are scheduled to be drilled after the completion of the MD248 well."