How To Rate Your Favorite Uranium Company

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Many investors invested in the Great Uranium Bull Market with little rationale behind their speculation. Through the robust rallies of the past two years, it was easy to play the momentum of a newsletter writer’s recommendation. Quite a few did so, often employing the ‘greater fool strategy?and hoping the last and dumbest investor would provide an exit strategy for the early and nimble speculator.

We have created a 7-point ratings system to help you in determining which c…

uranium, nuclear power, electricity, utilities, stocks, mining, exploration, Canada, Wyoming, energy

Many investors invested in the Great Uranium Bull Market with little rationale behind their speculation. Through the robust rallies of the past two years, it was easy to play the momentum of a newsletter writer’s recommendation. Quite a few did so, often employing the ‘greater fool strategy?and hoping the last and dumbest investor would provide an exit strategy for the early and nimble speculator.

We have created a 7-point ratings system to help you in determining which companies might be best suited for your degree of investment risk. It’s a guideline you can use, and we’ve not assigned a weighting to each item. Nor have we named any uranium companies. This is a do-it-yourself ratings system, which requires but two actions on your part: (a) be persistent in your data-gathering from each company by asking the questions we posed below, and (b) be honest in your assessment when you review this data.

Some of the more speculative, pure exploration plays might abandon their properties by the end of the year or in 2007. Those would include under-capitalized companies with the more speculative properties and who also fare poorly on our ratings system. This ratings checklist would also apply to the pure specs. We began with our article, “How to Choose a Uranium Stock,?featuring Sprott Asset Management Market Strategist Kevin Bambrough and Senior Portfolio Manager Jean Francois Tardif, as a starting point to create a more advanced ratings system for you.

Uranium producers are likely to make a strong comeback as they cross over or switch to more lucrative long-term contracts. But, it could be the smaller, but more solid, uranium development companies which could emerge as the preferred investment vehicles, when the bull resumes the next leg of its long run. Now that we have had a shakeout, with possibly another one on the horizon, it is wise to properly evaluate the important merits of the more serious uranium development companies.

Below are some of the key criteria we are using in our ratings system to objectively evaluate uranium companies covered in our new book, “Investing in the Great Uranium Bull Market: A Practical Investor’s Guide to Uranium Stocks.?Please determine if your favorite exploration and/or development company meets these standards. This is one way of obtaining sufficient data to help you form a snapshot of a company’s prospects.

1.Cash Position. The more cash a company has in its treasury, the longer it can survive. Find out if your favorite company has a minimum of $20 million in cash. More than $30 million gives a company some breathing room. Exploration and development are very expensive propositions. Raising money in a down market is very tough.

2.National Instrument 43-101. This independent geological assessment determines how many pounds of uranium a company’s property hosts. While there are flaws with this system, it can be a workable yardstick. Find out if your favorite company has a minimum of 20 million pounds of a NI 43-101-compliant uranium resource. One should consider historical resources inadequate for evaluation purposes. They may also be misleading and open to hyperbole.

3.Pedigree of Known Deposits. Many of the uranium development companies hold properties, which were once held by the minerals or uranium divisions of major oil companies. Some were continuously held, during the 20-year bear market in uranium by one company or another, and then abandoned during the nadir of the drought. Find out if your favorite uranium company’s primary properties were continuously held until 2000 or a bit longer, but before the spot uranium market reversed. The earlier a company acquired its properties, the greater the probability that company got the best ones. Those who came into the game late often got the crumbs.

4.Drill Databases. Those previous land tenants, the major oil companies, who spent tens of millions of dollars drilling the uranium properties, accumulated drill databases. Some companies got the property, but not the drill databases. Some companies bought the drill database as part of their property acquisition. Find out if the company’s primary properties also have the drill database accompanying it. You may be surprised at what you find.

5.Pedigree of Uranium District. There are several premier uranium districts, which have a history of large-scale uranium production: Athabasca, Australia’s Northern Territories or South Australia, Grant’s New Mexico, Wyoming, Kazakhstan, Niger, and Namibia. Find out if your favorite company has holdings in these districts. Some companies have holdings in multiple uranium districts, which may also become recognized as a wise decision by their management.

6.Management’s Technical Experience. There are three categories of uranium experience: exploration geologist, project geologist and mine operations. Find out how much experience your company’s geological team has in each of those three categories. Those with less than 100 man-years of uranium experience behind them may be lacking. Those companies which have strength in all three categories could become the next uranium producers.

7.Political or Environmental Risk of Primary Assets. Finally, you should assess the risk of the company’s primary assets with regards to its location. Primary uranium assets in North America or Australia’s Northern Territories hold the lowest risk. Those companies exploring or developing in Niger, Namibia or Brazil have slightly higher political risk. Companies with prospects in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kazakhstan or Mongolia hold more risk than some investors may wish to tolerate. Areas which forbid mining such as Queensland, Western Australia or the U.S. state of Virginia carry an enormous degree of risk and a Kierkegaardian leap of faith.

Now you can rate your favorite uranium company and use this ratings system to help you sift through the more than 300 potential stocks in which you might have considered investing.

Beating the S&P 500 with Stock Market Timing

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Investors can beat the S&P 500 using stock market timing. Most mutual funds can’t.

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Copyright 2006 Equitrend, Inc.

Approximately 75% of fund managers do not beat the S&P 500 year in and year out. How can a basket of 500 hundred stocks beat the majority of actively managed mutual funds? The people who manage these funds are, for the most part, brilliant people. They are highly educated and have access to the most advanced information and decision support systems in the world. So why is it that they do not outperform the S&P 500?

A Quick Test:

Here’s a very crude test of management performance: Let’s compare the domestic-equity mutual fund performance supplied by Morningstar against the S&P 500 index for one, three, five and ten-year periods, looking back from April 30, 1995. The S&P 500 index is a fair comparison for large, domestic companies.

Our results:

–Of the 1,097 funds Morningstar covered for the one-year period, 110 beat the S&P 500, while 987 fell short. Results ranged from 46.84% to -32.26%, while the S&P 500 attained a 17.44% return.

–During the three-year period, the S&P 500 returned 10.54%, while results in the funds varied from 29.28% to -15.02% compounded annually. Of the total 609 funds, only 266 beat the S&P 500.

–Shifting to the five-year period, of 470 funds, 204 beat the S&P 500. Results ranged from 27.35% to -8.51%, while the index racked up 12.62%.

–At ten years, only 56 of 262 funds managed to beat the index, and results varied from 24.77% to -4.06% compounded annually against 14.78% for the S&P 500.

The fact that most funds do not beat the overall stock market should not be surprising. Since the majority of money invested in the stock market comes from mutual funds, it would be mathematically impossible for the majority all of these funds to out perform the market.

The implied promise held out to investors in actively managed mutual funds is that in exchange for higher fees (relative to index funds), the actively managed fund will deliver superior market performance. There are a host of barriers to fulfilling this implied promise.

Some of the problems are:

–The larger a mutual fund gets, the more difficult it becomes to deliver exceptional performance.

–Although fund size runs counter to performance, fund managers have a strong motivation to let the fund grow as big as possible because the bigger the fund gets, the more money the fund managers make.

–Most skillful mutual fund managers are hired away by hedge funds, where their financial rewards are greater and there are few restrictions on investment techniques.

–By law mutual funds are supposed to be conservative, which in theory limits their potential losses. This conservative stance generally limits their ability to use arbitrage, options, or shorting stocks.

Can You Do Better?

Because of the general inflexibility and restrictions of most mutual funds, your investment capital is not properly hedged against market fluctuations. In most cases, if you compared the beta of the equity exposure held in actively managed mutual funds to an equal equity exposure to the S&P 500 index, your reward/risk ratio would be less rewarding than purchasing an identical equity exposure to the S&P 500 index. So, the answer is, you can do better and beat the S & P 500 by using an effective stock market timing system.

A Cheap Strategy to Play Microsoft

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Articles takes a look at Microsoft and how you can play the stock with options.

stocks,investing,trading,options,technical analysis,george leong,money,finance,small cap stocks

Bill Gates is super rich but his once high-flying software company has been in the doldrums since mid-2002 after falling from the $35 level. The problem with Microsoft (MSFT) has been its failure to grow both its revenues and earnings at the superlative rates the company once enjoyed.

Any company the size of Microsoft, with a market-cap of $242 billion, will find growth an issue because of its size. But this is not to say the stock is dead. Far from it, Microsoft remains a viable long-term software company and is cash rich with $34 billion or $3.28 per share in cash. This gives the stock plenty of financial flexibility to develop or buy growth technologies. Microsoft just announced it would spend $1.1 billion in R&D at its MSN Internet unit in the FY07. And according to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is exploring the possibility of taking a stake in Internet media company Yahoo (YHOO) to take on Internet advertising behemoth Google (GOOG).

But with an estimated five-year earnings growth rate of a pitiful 12%, the company has its work cut out for it. Trading at 16.30x its estimated FY07 EPS of $1.44, the stock is not expensive but appears to be priced not as a growth stock.

Its PEG on the surface of 1.51 is not cheap, but if you discount in the cash of $3.28 per share, the estimated PEG falls to around 1,0, a decent valuation. Also, if Microsoft can improve on its estimated 12% growth rate, the PEG would decline further.

The fact is Microsoft at the current price deserves a look. If you want to play the stock but don’t want to shell out the $2,347 for a 100-share block, you may want to take a look at the long-term options, also known as LEAPS. For instance, the in-the-money January 2008 $22.50 Microsoft Call LEAPS not set to expire until January 18, 2008 currently costs $380 a contract (100 shares).

This means you risk a total of $380 for the chance to participate in the potential upside of 100 shares of Microsoft over the next 20 months. The breakeven price is $26.30. If Microsoft breaks $26.30, you would begin to make money on your LEAPS. Conversely, if Microsoft fails to do anything, your maximum risk is $380 on the initial option play.

Warning: The aforementioned example is for illustrative purposes only and not to be construed as an actual option strategy. Due to the higher risk inherent in options, I recommend you speak with an investment professional before deciding to employ any strategy involving options.

Growth and Value: What’s the Difference?

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While the majority of American investors understand the importance of diversifying across growth and value investments, few are able to achieve a passing grade on a test of their knowledge of the differences between the two, according to a new American Century Investments survey.

Growth and Value: What’s the Difference?

While the majority of American investors understand the importance of diversifying across growth and value investments, few are able to achieve a passing grade on a test of their knowledge of the differences between the two, according to a new American Century Investments survey.

Test your knowledge with the Growth & Value IQ quiz below:

1. Which best describes a growth stock?

a) Stock that offers guaranteed rate of growth tied to consumer price index.

b) Stock in a company specializing in agriculture, lumber, landscaping, and other organic products.

c) A stock in a company demonstrating better than average profit and earnings gains.

d) All of the above.

2. Which best describes a value stock?

a) Stock in fast-growing company specializing in high-value, low-cost products, like a discount retailer.

b) Stock in a company specializing in valuable goods, like precious metals and jewelry.

c) Stock that has a low price-to-book ratio.

d) All of the above.

3. Which statement is true?

a) Value stocks outperformed growth stocks between 1927 and 2001.

b) Smaller company value stocks outperformed larger company value stocks between 1927 and 2001.

c) Maintaining a portfolio with a combination of growth and value stocks generally is considered a prudent investment approach.

d) All of the above.

4. During periods of strong economic expansion, which fund generally performs better?

a) Growth.

b) Value.

c) Neither.

d) Both.

5. Generally speaking, value funds outpaced growth funds in 2000 and 2001.

a) True.

b) False.

6. Generally speaking, growth funds outpaced value funds during the 1990s.

a) True.

b) False.

7. Which type of fund is more likely to invest in stocks paying a significant dividend?

a) Growth.

b) Value.

c) Neither.

d) Both.

8. Higher price-to-earnings ratios normally would be associated with stocks in which type of mutual fund?

a) Growth.

b) Value.

c) Neither.

d) Both.

9. What kind of stock is described in this example: “Established baked-goods company with strong balance sheet and good cash flow experiencing temporary drop in reaction to changes in senior management.”

a) Growth.

b) Value.

c) Neither.

10. What kind of stock is described in this example: “Software company, enjoying steady sales increases, is in the process of rolling out an eagerly anticipated update to a popular software application.”

a) Growth.

b) Value.

c) Neither.

Key: 1(c); 2(c); 3(d); 4(a); 5(a); 6(a); 7(b); 8(a); 9(b); 10(a). – NU

Day Trading Online in the United States

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Day trading online in the United States has become a powerful trend in recent years.

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Day trading online in the United States has become a powerful trend in recent years. And while growth rates in the US have been sluggish in recent years, the US has still maintained a strong dollar, which is still used as the unquestioned international standard.
Unemployment rates have been better than where they are now, but consumer spending is at a normal pace.

But what does all of this have to do with the stock market?-Surprisingly a lot. Macroeconomic trends are quite simply the sum of microeconomic decisions and realities. If the economy overall is suffering, there’s a good chance that most firms are also experiencing slow growth rates, which will be reflected in share prices on the NASDAQ.

This also means that day traders will feel the strain; some may even avoid trading altogether out of a sense of despair, which may further lag growth rates.

Most of stock trading websites are actually based in America. So that means that you will always have a huge selection of companies to choose between for your stock trading services.

Day trading online in the USA is a big business and a lot of people setting up online companies are making a lot of money, often through sign-up and service fees. But the real winner can be the consumer–the one who signs up for the website: these people get into the online stock trading world and can make a real killing when they are buying and selling all the right kinds of stock.

But you do need to have some kind of knowledge about buying and selling stocks when you are taking part in online stock trading. Brokers are available to give you any advice when you need it; and if you are always failing to earn, then you should really give a broker a call, just to see if they can help you out of your losing streak.

USA is recognized by many as the home of the strongest and largest stock market. This is why foreign investors from around the world choose to invest a good amount of their money in US-based business. For you to make the most out of the US stock market, you need to be able to know when to buy and sell. If you do not know when to say that enough is enough for that share, then you should not be trading at all. A lot of people have exact strategies-technical or fundamental-to determine exactly when to buy and to trade and exactly how much to diversify to manage risk appropriately; and these are the people who are usually earning a steady income.

An Analysis Of Overstock.com (OSTK)

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Why is a value investor writing about an unprofitable internet company? Because value investing is about finding dollars that trade for fifty cents; with a market cap of less than 75% of sales, Overstock.com (OSTK) looks like it may be exactly that.

But isn’t it too risky?

The greatest risk in any investment is the risk of overpaying. So, the real question is: what is Overstock worth? I think it’s worth at least $1.5 billion. With Overstock’s market cap currently sitti…

overstock.com, overstock, OSTK, (OSTK), overstock (OSTK), stock, stocks, stock market, investing,

Why is a value investor writing about an unprofitable internet company? Because value investing is about finding dollars that trade for fifty cents; with a market cap of less than 75% of sales, Overstock.com (OSTK) looks like it may be exactly that.

But isn’t it too risky?

The greatest risk in any investment is the risk of overpaying. So, the real question is: what is Overstock worth? I think it’s worth at least $1.5 billion. With Overstock’s market cap currently sitting around $500 million, my valuation certainly looks far fetched. But, there’s only one way to know for sure. Let’s take apart my argument piece by piece, and see if any of my assumptions are unreasonable.

First Assumption: Over the next five years, Overstock will neither generate truly free cash flow nor consume cash. In other words, its free cash flow margin will average 0%. Cash generation in some years will exactly offset cash consumption in other years. Obviously, this assumption is unreasonable, because there is almost no chance the cash flows will exactly offset.

That’s not a problem if it turns out Overstock does generate some free cash flow over the next five years. In that case, my assumption simply errs on the side of caution. If, however, it turns out Overstock actually consumes cash over the next five years, there is a problem ?possibly a very big problem. So, which scenario is more likely?

Overstock’s revenues are growing quickly. Gross margins look solid at 13.3% in 2004 and 14.9% over the last twelve months. Overstock’s unprofitability is the result of its selling, general, and administrative expenses (SG&A) which have been growing exponentially. Will these expenses continue to grow? Yes, but not as fast as revenues. Over the last twelve months, Overstock’s spending on cap ex has been 5.6% of sales. That number is an aberration. In the long run, spending on cap ex should not exceed 3% of sales. Considering the business Overstock is in and the expected sales growth, the company will, more likely than not, generate some free cash flow over the next five years. Therefore, the assumption that Overstock will be cash flow neutral over the next five years is not overly optimistic.

Second Assumption: Over the next five years, Overstock’s sales will grow by 15% annually. Is this an unreasonable assumption? Again, I don’t think it is. Very few industries are expected to grow as fast as eCommerce. Overstock’s revenue growth in 2003 and 2004 was over 100%. In the past year, that growth has slowed. However, it is still closer to 50% than it is to 15%. Overstock isn’t in a cyclical business. So, there is no reason to believe current sales are abnormally high.

Also, all that spending on advertising is increasing consumers?awareness of Overstock. A review of Overstock’s traffic data shows it has not only been gaining more visitors; it has also been climbing the ranks of the most popular web sites. While it is a long, long way from the Amazons, Yahoos, and eBays of the world (and will never reach those heights) Overstock is becoming a well known internet destination. This fact was most clearly evident in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Shoppers who visited Overstock during the holiday season obviously know it exists, and may very well return at some other point in the year. Analysts are predicting very high growth rates for Overstock; however, they are also recommending you sell the stock. I don’t put any weight in their estimates. But, for the other reasons given, I believe the assumption that Overstock will grow sales at 15% a year for the next five years is not unreasonable.

Third Assumption: Six to ten years from today, Overstock will have a free cash flow margin of 3%. Ten years from today, Overstock’s free cash flow margin will rise to 4% and remain at that level. Now, of all the assumptions I’ve made, this one is the most questionable. Sure, Amazon has that kind of free cash flow margin, but Overstock isn’t Amazon, and it never will be Amazon. Overstock’s gross margins are less than Amazon’s. In fact, Overstock’s gross margins are less than Wal ?Mart’s. However, Overstock’s fixed costs will eat up a much smaller portion of its sales than is the case over at Wal – Mart.

If you compare Overstock to other online retailers, you will see that if Overstock does experience strong sales growth, a 3% free cash flow margin six years from now is not unreasonable. I assumed Overstock’s sustainable free cash flow margin will be 4%. There’s a case to be made that 4% is too high. I won’t make that case, because I don’t believe in it. Remember, that 4% number comes ten years out. That gives Overstock plenty of time to grow sales and thus reduce SG&A as a percentage of sales.

Fourth Assumption: Six to ten years from today, Overstock will be growing sales by 12% a year; eleven to fifteen years from today, Overstock will be growing sales by 8% a year; thereafter, Overstock will grow sales by 4% a year. Let’s see what this really means. According to these assumptions, Overstock’s sales will be as follows:

Today: $707 million

2011: $1.59 billion

2016: $2.71 billion

2021: $3.83 billion

2026: $4.66 billion

2031: $5.67 billion

2036: $6.90 billion

Seven billion dollars is not an unreasonable target ?if you have thirty years to achieve it. To put that figure in perspective, Amazon.com currently has sales of about $8 billion. So, even after thirty years, these assumptions don’t lead to Overstock reaching the same size as today’s Amazon. Don’t forget these numbers assume some inflation. For instance, if inflation averages 3% a year over the next thirty years, Overstock’s projected $6.90 billion in sales only translates to $2.84 billion in today’s dollars. So, these assumptions only lead to a fourfold increase in Overstock’s real sales over a period of thirty years. I think that’s pretty reasonable.

If you take these four assumptions together, you get a value of $1.5 billion for Overstock. Today, Mr. Market is offering it for $500 million ?that’s why I’m writing about an unprofitable internet company.

An Overview Of The Stock Market

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When you are interested in investing in the stock market one of the first things you will need is a reliable and affordable stockbroker

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When you are interested in investing in the stock market one of the first things you will need is a reliable and affordable stockbroker. At one point in time, a stockbroker was seen as a very high priced person that was extremely hard to understand. In today’s world, stockbrokers have become much different, they have begun to make their services cheaper to obtain and in such a way that is easier to understand. This is an extremely wonderful change for the simple reason that you will not be able to trade in any way, shape, or form without a stockbroker.

One of the major rules within the stock market is that no person is allowed to trade within the stock market unless they are a certified stockbroker. A stockbroker, within the United Kingdom twelve million investor’s trade in the stock market, performs every trade that occurs and each one has enlisted the services of a stockbroker.

So you are probably now wondering, what exactly can a stockbroker do for me? There is a wide range of abilities and services that any stockbroker can offer you, at the same time there are also various ranges of fees that will be collected from them. Typically, a stockbroker will charge a commission, a set fee, or some combination of the two. In regards to the services a stockbroker can offer you, there are three basic levels that include only execution, portfolio management, and advice.

When a stockbroker only deals with the selling and buying of particular shares, per the instructions you give them, this is generally called execution only or in softer terms dealing only. With this type of service, they do not offer you any type of advice on any action you want perform. Typically, investors that are experienced or novice in investing will use this type of service. Execution only is cheaper and extremely efficient the fees the stockbroker charges can range anywhere between ?0 to hundreds of pounds, this will depend on the specific stockbroker you choose.

Portfolio management is extremely detailed and the most expensive type of service performed and dealing with advice is typically a little more expensive than execution only, because the stockbroker will offer advice and views on what is happening within the stock market. The stockbroker at this level of service will also take the time to explain anything you may not understand very well.

Within the portfolio management service, you can separate these into two other categories these are advisory and discretionary. When under the advisory category, the stockbroker will create a proposal of a portfolio for you; however, he or she will not take any action without express permission from you. Within the discretionary category, your stockbroker will completely run all aspects of your portfolio and will give you reports as needs on how the portfolio is working.

An Industry Blueprint To Stocks And Shares

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In this day and age, a lot of things have changed from how they used to be, which can be new and exciting for most.

Because of the large size of the stock market, beginner investors appear to feel overwhelmed as to where to even activate investing their money. To most people, the stock market presents a messy web of options but does not reveal the highway map of clarity to guide their way along way in their investment adventure. The key to investing in the stock market is …

stock market, investment tips, investment advice, stock market tips

In this day and age, a lot of things have changed from how they used to be, which can be new and exciting for most.

Because of the large size of the stock market, beginner investors appear to feel overwhelmed as to where to even activate investing their money. To most people, the stock market presents a messy web of options but does not reveal the highway map of clarity to guide their way along way in their investment adventure. The key to investing in the stock market is to become as educated as it is possible so that you know exactly what is taking place at all times. This helps people to make plausible and sound decisions about their money, thus, dropping the stress involved with investing.

The usual person, when beginning to entertain the idea of investing in the stock market, falls into one of two categories. Class one is the gambler who feels that investing is definitely a form of betting and no question what they do, they are certain that they will drop money slightly than make money. It seems that this opinion of investing in stocks is either formed from friends and family that have been baffled by the stock market or private experience and lost money. If someone has personally made losses in the stock market, it is pretty evident that they were not educated enough at the time of their investment in the stock market. Therefore, they must become educated as to what exactly the stock market is as well as how its system works in order to become a successful investor. Class two, on the other hand, represents the “go-getter?investor, which is an individual who knows that they should invest into the stock market for the safety of their monetary future, but they have absolutely no idea where to begin. The “go-getters?lean towards avoiding their monetary decisions and leave it up to professionals; therefore, they are powerless to justify why they own a certain stock. A usual “go-getter?operates in blind faith, as one stock goes up in value, they more than likely will hold it. The “go-getter?is in poorer shape than the gambler in that they will invest like everyone else and then wonder why they receive an unsatisfactory or devastating outcome. This just proves that the typical person should become thoroughly educated about the stock market as well as stocks before investment takes place.

Essential to every economy is business…businesses that started out as small operations that have grown to become money making giants, raising capital by promoting stock in them to people who want to invest to make their futures financially secure. As small businesses start to grow, one of the supreme obstacles is generating enough money in order to develop into a superior operation. Businesses either scrounge the money in the form of a offer from a bank or venture capitalist, or someone that will invest money into a business in which they feel they will receive a high rate of return, or a reap from their investment into a business, in order to create the currency to expand. The most common choice for a business to gain money for the view of expansion is to take out a loan; however, there is no agreement that a bank will offer money to any given business.

What we have explored up to now is the most important information you need to know. Now, let’s dig a little deeper.

In this case, business owners roam to the stock market for help in the form of issuing stocks. Firm owners relinquish a tiny fraction of control over their business and in reciprocation; the stock market provides that business money that does not have to be salaried back, in order to guarantee expansion. As an added bonus, the business is permitted to “go public,?a saying that means a brand is selling stocks for itself for the first time, so that business owners no longer are required to borrow money from banks because they can merely use their own stocks for getting monies to use for expansion. Thus, as the business grows and sells their stocks to people, the better chance a sponsor has on gaining a return on their investment as opposed to a loss.

As an investor, it is to your advantage to efficiently study each and every business in which you propose to hold stocks. The more facts you know about any certain business, the easier it is to make a plausible decision as to whether you should hold stocks or want a different business in which to work with.

Try searching for a particular keyword from the title of this article on your search engine and you are sure to find a wealth of knowledge.

Ancient Meteor Impact May Hold Key To Uranium Exploration Success At Cluff

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ESO Uranium to Angle Drill near a Promising 1970’s Hole

“I look at about 100 different projects a year, most of which go into the round filing cabinet on my floor,?said Tony Harvey, the senior technical advisor to ESO Uranium (TSX: ESO), and formerly a senior manager of Wright Engineers-Fluor Daniels, which was involved with the design and construction of 14 mines worldwide. Harvey quickly ticked off what is necessary to attract his eye, “I need to see history. I need to …

investing, stock market, commodities, energy, utilities, stock tips, stock trading, uranium, mining

ESO Uranium to Angle Drill near a Promising 1970’s Hole

“I look at about 100 different projects a year, most of which go into the round filing cabinet on my floor,?said Tony Harvey, the senior technical advisor to ESO Uranium (TSX: ESO), and formerly a senior manager of Wright Engineers-Fluor Daniels, which was involved with the design and construction of 14 mines worldwide. Harvey quickly ticked off what is necessary to attract his eye, “I need to see history. I need to see signposts before I give it any credence.?So why is he advising little-known ESO Uranium, after a long, prolific career? Harvey helped found Amex-listed Azco Mining, and more recently was a director of Mexican mining firm, Cobre del Mayo, which sold two of its last three mines, which he helped discover, to Phelps Dodge (NYSE: PD).

“I believe this one has a huge amount of history,?Harvey argued. “Not only have you got the Cluff Lake mine, which already confirms the presence of uranium, but you have got the Shea Creek drilling intercepts which validate it. We have the conductors streaming onto our property. We have the boulders, which is also another sign post.?The boulders, of which Tony Harvey refers, are the six uranium-mineralized boulders near the ESO Uranium project on the company’s Cluff property. Near those boulders, a promising drill hole from the 1970s indicated 0.85% U3O8 over 2.3 meters. It was all but forgotten until the recent explosion of exploration activity in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, an area which has helped Cameco (NYSE: CCJ) grow into a company with a market capitalization of nearly $12 billion.

What ESO Uranium’s geological team will be looking for at the company’s Cluff property are Cluff Lake style uranium deposits in basement rocks with the Carswell structure close to the unconformity with sandstones of the Athabasca group.

Drilling in the Meteor’s Wake

“The value of the ore extracted at the Cluff mine, in today’s terms, would be equivalent to $2.6 billion,?explained Harvey. “That’s how much was extracted at the Cluff mine.?The company’s vice president of exploration, Benjamin Ainsworth, who is both a senior geologist and a mining engineer, helped explain the Cluff structure. “A meteorite probably impacted at this location and with sufficient force to break right through the layers of Athabasca sandstone on the surface. On rebound, basement rocks got lifted back up. In bouncing back out, it also lifted up the surrounding Athabasca rocks and tipped them up, if you can imagine, like an opening flower.?As a result, the basement got lifted up to the surface and made it easier to find and mine the uranium at Cluff. Ainsworth added, “The significance of that for me and our group is that shows very high grade uranium deposits in the western side of Athabasca.?
Drilling a property helps the geological team better understand the area. Since the Cluff property was mined out, two decades ago, additional scientific study has opened up new doors. At the 67th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting, University of Quebec Earth Science professors presented a paper entitled, “A Re-Evaluation of the Size of the Carswell Astrobleme.?The Montreal scientists concluded in the 2004 annual conference held in Brazil, “The Carswell impact structure is therefore older and larger than previously estimated?the central uplift considered to be under the annular dolomitic unit would suggest a crater size in the basement of 118 to 125 kilometers wide.?While some believe the meteor hit about 478 million years ago, recent evidence suggests it may have been closer to 1.8 billion years ago.

Angle Drilling This Time

ESO Uranium plans a six-hole drill program to learn more about their Cluff property. The first hole hopes to confirm what was found earlier, “We’re going to drill right up against the CAR-425 hole drilled originally in the 1970s, which indicated uranium of about 0.85 percent U3O8 over 2.3 meters.?They will drill adjacent to the uranium-mineralized boulders. Ainsworth explained how the company’s strategy is different from previous drilling, “We’re drilling angle holes to give us a better opportunity to find more of the structures that can be carrying mineralization in that sort of system.?In the 1970s, holes were vertically drilled. Harvey added, “We’re going to be stepping out to the southeast, which bring us then closer to the original Cluff mine.?The company plans 150 to 200-meter holes. Ainsworth noted, “The CAR-425 drill hole, which we’re coming up close to, is 146.5 meters deep.?
Robert Beckett, ESO Uranium’s exploration manager, agrees about the 55 degree angle holes the company will be drilling at the Cluff property, “They were drilling vertical holes, and we’d like to go back and check it with an angle hole on the theory, which we interpret as some kind of subvertical system.?Beckett talked about additional drilling to the south, after the property had been explored, revealed “the structure extends from the edge of the basin all the way through Shea Creek.?He added, “We believe it extends onto our property to the north at 11 o’clock, just to the north. We see the extension of those conductors coming up through Shea Creek ?conductors and by extension, structures, extending up onto our property. And the structures are the key thing ?the destruction of the upper fold and the unconformity in the bedrock, it gives you the right kind of conditions for the deposition of uranium.?Before Beckett joined ESO Uranium, he had been district geologist for Esso Minerals and for the Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation, which later merged with El Dorado Nuclear to become Cameco Corp. He was the exploration manager at Midwest Lake and the project manager of the Port Radium mine.

The Hook Property

Another property in the ESO Uranium portfolio, which requires additional preparatory geological work and exploratory drilling, is called the Hook property. It’s about ten miles south of the Shea Creek deposit and covers approximately 130,000 acres. The western one-third of the property has been minimally explored. ESO Uranium CEO Jonathan George said about it, “The Hook is one of the areas I’m particularly excited about, now that we’ve received the airborne geophysical survey, is because the conductors have shown up very strongly, coupled with dravite, which is an alteration clay, a key indicator to uranium deposits.?Mr. George believes his company may have a new targeted area. “Cameco is drilling right on the doorstep on another project they have,?he added. Cameco, he pointed out, is drilling just to the south and east of ESO’s southern rim, below the company’s border.

Ainsworth was also optimistic, saying, “That’s part of the reason why that ground was selected earlier ?Cameco had that position, and I could see, in the available information that there were structures and good probabilities of other types of systems being available.?George said, “We’re going to be drilling because we see an intense alteration on surface, of which that source has never been found. The alteration coupled with the structure leads us to believe we’ve got a great shot down there.?
“I think we’re much closer to having a hit at Cluff immediately,?Ainsworth insisted. “It is probably a good thing to get some news on the table very early on.?He did warn that there is a lot of risk in drilling for uranium deposits. “The geometry of these things is damn small.?George pointed out that the world’s richest uranium deposit, McArthur River, hosting about 400 million pounds of uranium, had half of its deposit in an area about half the size of a football field. “I think that’s mind boggling,?he said, “that a $7 billion project would be on an area that small.?
Conclusion

Drilling is imminent on the Cluff property, depending upon ice thickness in Saskatchewan. News should be available fairly quickly. Ainsworth warns, “The individual deposits at Cluff are actually quite small.?While quite a bit of work has been done in the Cluff area, many have recognized it’s very easy to miss. But Ainsworth cheerfully exudes, “The key thing here is that the grade is so high that pursuing it further makes it worthwhile.?
Another key to ESO Uranium is the strength of their exploration team. Technical adviser Tony Harvey has numerous credits to his long career. Robert Beckett has spent decades exploring in Saskatchewan and for the precursor company to Cameco, he was the in charge of the northern half of the Athabasca Basin. Benjamin Ainsworth held numerous senior positions with Placer since 1965, having once served as president of Placer Chile.

According to ESO’s Corporate Communications Manager, Tom Corcoran, “We currently raised about C$4.7 million, which has been earmarked for exploration on and in the ground. If we don’t spend it on drilling or exploration work, we have to give the money back.?ESO Uranium planned to start drilling in early February, having had to slightly delay the start of drilling, according to Robert Beckett, until the weather got colder. Drilling is imminent, and results should appear fairly quickly. Ainsworth offered an insight about how soon we will know about drilling results, “One thing about uranium, unlike drilling for gold and other metals, you get a radioactive signal on a drill core as you’re logging it. So you get a pretty good idea if you’ve got something there or not. You’re not going to get a very precise assay at that point, but at least you can focus very quickly. You can see these uranium minerals with a naked eye.?
We’ll be looking forward to seeing those drill results shortly.

A Spiraling Market and Rising Penny Stock Opportunities

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It’s been a wild and wooly couple of weeks on the international stock markets [June, 2006]. But is the recent slide grinding to a halt…or just taking a breather before tumbling some more? And more importantly, what does it mean to astute penny stock investors?

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It’s been a wild and wooly couple of weeks on the international stock markets. But is the recent slide grinding to a halt…or just taking a breather before tumbling some more? And more importantly, what does it mean to astute penny stock investors?

Wall Street recently stumbled to its worst week of the year, and global stock markets fell dramatically on concerns about rising interest rates and slowing growth. After rising almost 9% in the first four months of the year, the Dow Jones industrial average has fallen about 6.5% from a six-year high, reached May 10, 2006.

Stocks have been ailing because penny stock investors fear the Fed could be so focused on inflation that it ignores signs of an economic slowdown, raises interest rates too high and sends the economy into a recession.

Global stock markets were sent reeling last week after golden-tongued U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke shocked penny stock investors in saying the Fed will continue raising interest rates to keep inflation in check.

And that decision will have a direct impact on the penny stock market. Higher interest rates hurt penny stock prices because investors believe it will curb economic growth and corporate profits.

But why is inflation heating up? Higher energy costs. Traders and penny stock investors are also worried that with the hurricane season officially under way, Gulf Coast refineries and oil production sites could be damaged again this summer and fall.

And higher interest rates have the ability to affect the entire economy. Finance charges on credit cards will rise. So too will rates on mortgages and home equity loans, putting additional pressure on homebuyers and a softening housing market. Ultimately, it will cost more to borrow for expansion.

But does this signal doom-and-gloom for the penny stock market? Au contraire. While the temptation to sell everything can be overwhelming, some see this as a great opportunity. “I would not be selling. I would tend to be buying,” said one New York analyst.

So how exactly is this an opportunity? It just so happens that many companies caught in the market’s downward spiral are cheaper than they were a few weeks ago. And as any seasoned penny stock investor will tell you, buying a great penny stock when it’s been beaten down isn’t a bad way to make money over the long haul.

If you can stomach some of the volatility that is. While many blue chip investors have difficulty handling the market’s unpredictability…it’s par for the course.

So, “snap out of it,” said another watcher. A month of dizzying selling has brought the markets into an attractive range. Is it possible the markets will fall more? Absolutely. After all, no penny stock is a sure thing. But one thing is certain: “Stocks are much cheaper now than they were two months ago.”