A Silver Lining

08/19/2005 12:00 am EST


Adrian Day

Chairman and CEO, Adrian Day Asset Management

"We are bullish long term on silver," says Adrian Day, one of the most knowledgeable and respected advisors in the mining sector. Here, he looks at a trio of silver stocks, each offering a "different approach to benefiting from the silver market."

"Pan American Silver (PAAS NASDAQ) is the largest pure silver producer. On the positive side, individual mines are performing better, with lots of growth ahead. The company is now debt-free with almost $100 million in the bank. PAAS is a solid company, with strong management, a great balance sheet, and good growth potential. The missing ingredient is positive earnings on a consistent basis. After this self-described 'turnaround quarter,' that may lie ahead. PAA also offers good leverage to silver, so we are definitely holding, and had it rated a buy only recently.

"Silver Wheaton (SLW ASE) has a unique strategy to acquire silver revenue streams from other mines at a fixed cost. It is controlling its costs by fixing them. By owning all the upside, Silver Wheaton is the only company with 100% of its revenues from silver. With cash of over $33 million and steady cash flow, this new company—this was its second complete quarter as a separate entity—is in a strong position to make further acquisitions. Silver Wheaton has aggressive, imaginative management, a solid balance sheet, and strong cash flow. The strategy is a great one, making it highly leveraged to silver at fixed costs and low downside. We are definitely holding and would look for pullbacks to buy.

"There have been important developments at Silver Standard (SSRI NASDAQ) regarding advances at its properties in Latin America, announcing strong results at two exploration programs. Recent drill results at Berenguela in Peru extend the mineralization and confirm the continuity and grade. Meanwhile, at the company's 100%-owned Pitarilla in Mexico, our analysis is that the stock should be bought on any modest weakness. It is unusual for an exploration company to be in the position Silver Standard finds itself, with multiple exciting exploration projects and a choice of projects to advance towards production."

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