In times of market turmoil, investors often turn to gold as a safe haven. They also can invest in the precious metal by buying shares of gold stocks, which include mining and related companies that focus on production. Some of the top gold mining operations include companies like Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) and Newmont Goldcorp Corp. (NEM). As represented by the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), gold stocks have dramatically outperformed the S&P 500, returning 42.6% in the trailing 12-month period as compared with 17.0% for the S&P. All figures are as of November 15, 2019.

Below, we'll look at the top three gold stocks for best value, fastest growth, and most momentum.

Gold Stocks with the Best Value

Here are the gold stocks in the S&P 500 with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio in the sector. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Gold Stocks with the Best Value
  Price ($) Market Cap ($) 12-Month Trailing P/E
K92 Mining Inc. (KNTNF) 2.09 444.5M 6.6
Newmont Goldcorp Corp. (NEM) 37.54 30.8B 13.5
Semafo Inc. (SMF.TO) 2.75 919.8M 13.8
Source: YCharts
  • K92 Mining Inc.: K92 Mining is a Vancouver, Canada-based business focused on mineral exploration and development, with a particular specialization in the processing of gold ore. In Q3 2019, K92 reported exceptional gold equivalent production from its Kainantu mine.
  • Newmont Goldcorp Corp.: Newmont Goldcorp is a mining company involved in the acquisition, exploration, and development of mines and related properties. The company has a particular focus on gold and copper. Newmont began 2019 with the major acquisition of Canadian mining outfit Goldcorp Inc. in a deal valued at about $10 billion. Since that time, the newly formed Newmont Goldcorp has boosted many of its figures on an annualized basis: for Q3 2019, the company produced 28% more gold and saw an increase of 137% in free cash flow, for instance.
  • Semafo Inc.: Based in Canada but with a focus on mines in West Africa, Semafo targets gold exploration and production. In early November 2019, hundreds of Semafo employees were involved in an attack on a company convoy, forcing the closure of one of its mines. The mine remained closed as of November 11.

Gold Stocks with the Fastest Earnings Growth

Here are the gold stocks in the S&P 500 with the highest year-over-year (YOY) earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.

Gold Stocks with the Fastest Earnings Growth
  Price ($) Market Cap ($) EPS Growth (%)
Semafo Inc. (SMF.TO) 2.75 919.8M 869.0
Argonaut Gold Inc. (AR.TO) 1.81 324.9M 730.2
Newmont Goldcorp Corp. (NEM) 37.54 30.8B 723.6
Source: YCharts
  • Semafo Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc.: Canadian mining company Argonaut Gold explores and develops gold mines and engages in various production activities. The company is primarily involved in mining at two sites in Mexico. In the most recent quarter, Argonaut came up short of production guidance, producing 44,700 gold-equivalent ounces. A series of lower-than-expected production levels in recent quarters means that Argonaut is likely to miss its initial 2019 production estimates.
  • Newmont Goldcorp Corp.:  See above for company description.

Gold Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the gold stocks in the S&P 500 that had the greatest total return over the past 12 months.

Gold Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Sibanye-Stillwater (SBGL) 7.56 5.0B 223.1
Alacer Gold Corp. (ASR.TO) 6.70 2.0B 208.8
K92 Mining Inc. (KNTNF) 2.09 444.5M 180.5
S&P 500 (SPY) -- -- 17.0
VanEckVectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) -- -- 42.6
Source: YCharts
  • Sibanye-Stillwater: South Africa-based Sibanye-Stillwater mines, extracts, and processes gold ore. It is among the top producers of gold globally and is the highest-producing gold company in South Africa. Sibanye-Stillwater is a subsidiary of Sibanye Gold Ltd., and in October the companies announced an internal restructuring process in which Sibanye-Stillwater will acquire the entire issued share capital of Sibanye Gold.
  • Alacer Gold Corp.: Alacer Gold is a Canadian mining company that maintains a majority interest in the Çöpler gold mine in Turkey. Based on successes earlier in the year, the company increased its production guidance to.
  • K92 Mining Inc.: See above for company description.