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Energy, Gold Stocks Are Cheaper Than Commodities

Asian dealmaking in North America confirms energy and gold stocks are a bargain when compared with the underlying commodities, according to Frank Holmes, U.S. Global Investors Inc.’s chief executive officer.

As the CHART OF THE DAY shows, the shares have trailed commodity prices for more than a year. The top panel tracks a Standard & Poor’s 500 index of 17 oil and natural-gas producers and Brent crude, an industry benchmark. The bottom panel has the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index, consisting of 30 stocks, along with the price of gold for immediate delivery.

“The disparities mean that the cheapest resources are not found in the ground -- they’re listed” on stock exchanges, Holmes wrote three days ago in a blog posting.

Proposed multibillion-dollar takeovers of Canadian energy producers by Cnooc Ltd. and Petroliam Nasional Bhd show the value available in commodity stocks, according to Holmes.

Cnooc, China’s largest offshore-oil explorer, offered to acquire Nexen Inc. in July for 61 percent more than the stock’s market price. The proposed deal followed an offer in June from Petronas, Malaysia’s state-owned energy company, for Progress Energy Resources Corp. that was 77 percent above the market price. The bid was raised last month.

Holmes’s firm, based in San Antonio, runs three commodity-related mutual funds with total assets of about $1 billion. The biggest is the Global Resources Fund, which returned 12 percent during the two-year period depicted in the chart, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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