Despite Barrick's strong profits and steadily rising earnings and cash flows, its stock has performed erratically. From 1991 through 1996, these shares compounded at an annual rate of about 14%, beating most of the moribund gold-mining industry and almost keeping pace with the red-hot S&P 500 index. In 1997, though, a big charge in the third quarter caused Barrick to lose money for the year and sent its stock price tumbling, wiping out the gains from the previous few years. The shares were flat overall through 1998 and 1999. Even so, Barrick's long-term performance has been decent. In the 10-year period from 1989 to 1999, it returned an annualized 9% a year.
Has It Delivered the Diversification Benefits of a Hard-Asset Stock? >>