Gold has long been regarded as a safe haven in times of market turmoil. Many investors have gained exposure to the gold industry by buying stocks of companies engaged in the exploration and mining of the precious metal. Some of the biggest names in the gold industry include mining companies such as Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), Newmont Goldcorp Corp. (NEM), and Franco Nevada Corp. (FNV). Gold stocks, as represented by the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), have solidly outperformed the S&P 500 over the past year. GDX posted a 12-month trailing return of 33.7% versus the S&P's 26.8% as of January 29, 2020. These market performance numbers and the statistics in the three tables below are as of January 29.

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

Best Value Gold Stocks

Here are the gold stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. 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.

Best Value Gold Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E
K92 Mining Inc. (KNT.V) CA$3.51 0.7 10.7
Semafo Inc. (SMF.TO) CA$2.66 0.9 13.3
Newmont Corp. (NEM) 44.30 36.3 15.9

Source: YCharts

  • K92 Mining Inc.: Vancouver, Canada-based K92 Mining is a mineral exploration and production firm focused on the Kainantu mine in Papua New Guinea. In January 2020, K92 announced the completion of several key steps in the expansion of mining facilities in the Kainantu area.
  • Semafo Inc.: Semafo is a Canadian gold miner that operates two gold mines in the West African country of Burkina Faso. As of late December, the Boungou mine remained closed after a November attack on employees, contractors, and suppliers left at least 39 people dead.
  • Newmont Corp.: One of the biggest mining companies in the world, Newmont acquires and develops mineral properties relating to gold, silver, copper, and many other precious metals.

Fastest Growing Gold Stocks

Here are the gold stocks 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.

Fastest Growing Gold Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%)
Semafo Inc. (SMF.TO) CA$2.66 0.9 2,030.0
B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) CA$5.51 5.6 405.1
Royal Gold Inc. (RGLD) 111.72 7.3 365.2

Source: YCharts

  • Semafo Inc.: See above for company description.
  • B2Gold Corp.: Canadian mining company B2Gold focuses exclusively on gold production. The company operates mining facilities and exploration projects throughout the Americas as well as in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
  • Royal Gold Inc.: Royal Gold is not focused on mining directly, but rather on acquiring royalties to precious metals projects in exchange for financing support. In its most recent quarter, Q2 FY2020, Royal Gold's subsidiary RGLD Gold AG sold approximately 60,000 gold equivalent ounces. The number was in line with earlier guidance.

Gold Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the gold stocks that had the greatest total return over the past 12 months.

Gold Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Liberty Gold Corp. (LGD.TO) CA$1.29 0.3 235.1
K92 Mining Inc. (KNT.V) CA$3.51 0.7 225.0
Sibanye-Stillwater (SBGL) 10.07 6.7 224.8
S&P 500 (SPX) N/A N/A 26.8
VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) N/A N/A 33.7

Source: YCharts

  • Liberty Gold Corp.: Mining services company Liberty Gold is responsible for extraction, exploration, and production for customers in Canada. Liberty Gold recently announced plans to sell two mining properties in Nevada.
  • K92 Mining Inc.: See company description above.
  • Sibanye-Stillwater: Marketing and selling precious minerals in the U.S. and South Africa, Sibanye-Stillwater is focused on mining, extracting, and processing gold and platinum group metals. In January 2020, Sibanye-Stillwater announced that it had exercised its option to attain a 50.1% shareholding in DRDGOLD Limited. The purchase will bolster Sibanye-Stillwater's surface mining capabilities.