A focus on opportunistic stocks: McEwen Mining Inc. (MUX), Fluor Corporation (FLR)

McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE: MUX) shares are -0.79% down in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved 4.13% or $0.05 higher in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +137.74% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -17.65% down YTD and 24.75% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is 4.13% and -5.97% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On December 11, 2017, ROTH Capital recommended the MUX stock is a Buy, while earlier, B. Riley FBR had Initiated the stock as a Buy on September 10, 2019. 4 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 2.00 to suggest that the MUX stock is a “Moderate Buy. 0 of the 4 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 0 has rated it as “Underweight”. 4 recommend buying, with 0 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $1.26. The forecasts give the McEwen Mining Inc. stock a price target range of $2.75 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $1.70. The two limits represent an upside potential of 54.18% or 25.88%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to decrease -33.30% in the current quarter to -$0.03, up from the -$0.03 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of -$0.34, down -0.70% from -$0.17 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between -$0.03 and -$0.02. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of $0.07 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 6 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 0 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 6,191,700 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 0. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 2,191,700 and 0 in purchases and sales respectively.

Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR), on the other hand, is trading around $9.66 with a market cap of $1.36B and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Analysts predict that the stock will reach $13.25 and spell out a more modest performance – a 27.09% return. Some analysts are even forecasting -$10.29 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

Let us briefly look at the Fluor Corporation (FLR) financials, with a focus on its operating details as indicated in its earnings report for the last quarter.

Company balance sheet and cash flow

FLR’s operating margin was negative on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at -7.20%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $344.96 million. This represented a 91.24% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $3.94 billion. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS declined -$5.57 on the year-over-year period, growing to $0.49 as given in the last earnings report.

In terms of the balance sheet & cash flow as of (Dec 2019), the total assets figure advanced to $7.88 billion from $8.97 billion over the previous quarter. Short term investments amounted to $47.87 million while total current assets were at $5.32 billion. The cash flow from operating activities totaled $66.9 million, significantly higher than the -$11.29 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was -$73.16 million.

Insider activity

Insiders have transacted a total of 12 times at Fluor Corporation over the last 6 months, with insider purchases undertaken 0 times and accounting for 0 shares. Insider sales totaled 35,538 shares over the same period, with these deals completed in 12 transactions. Looking at these numbers, we realize that net purchases over that period are -12.0 shares. Insiders now hold a total of 1.17M shares after the latest sales, with 0.00% net shares purchased.

Major holders

Insiders own 0.60% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 82.80% with a share float percentage of 125.33M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with Fluor Corporation having a total of 473 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) with over 12.03 million shares worth more than $145.35 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) held 8.58% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Blackrock Inc., with the investment firm holding over 11.21 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $135.47 million and represent 8.00% of shares outstanding.