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Is Iamgold Corp (NYSE:IAG) The Best Mining Stock to Buy According to Billionaire John Paulson?

We recently published top 9 mining stock picks of billionaire John Paulson. Iamgold made it to the list. In this article we take a closer look at the stock. But first, let's see what Paulson is up to these days.

Billionaire John Paulson made a strong comeback last year after suffering heavy losses from his healthcare bets in 2022. According to data from Bloomberg, Paulson's funds returned about 32% in 2023, driven by gains from some of the best-performing mining, healthcare and financial stocks. Bloomberg also said that the 68-year-old billionaire, who is one of Donald Trump's favorite candidates for the Treasury secretary role, was picking up momentum this year, with his funds gaining about $600 million in 2024 through mid-April.

Messy Divorce, Car Dealerships in Flames and Legal Battles

Paulson, worth about $3.5 billion, has been in the news for several reasons lately. He filed for divorce in 2021, and is still embroiled in the legal battle with his former wife. He recently got engaged to his 35-year-old girlfriend Alina de Almeida. Paulson is also busy in a legal battle with his former business partners as the billionaire's car dealerships in Puerto Rico were damaged in multiple fire eruptions.


But there's more to Paulson that these scandals and controversies. He made a name (and wealth) for himself with his prescient stock-picking skills and wisdom. Paulson started warning about the subprime mortgage crisis back in 2006 and betting against the housing market. In the first nine months of 2007, Paulson's Credit Opportunities funds jumped about 340%. Reports suggest that Paulson pocketed about $20 billion for himself and investors following the subprime mortgage bonds collapse.

A detailed report by journalist Anthony Effinger recalls one of Paulson's letters to investors written just before the subprime mortgage crisis:

“We expect credit performance of subprime mortgages to continue to deteriorate,” Paulson told investors in his first-quarter report, sent out in April. By the U.S. summer, mortgage securities were in full retreat. Paulson’s Credit Opportunities funds soared in value, rising 75.7 percent in July and 26.5 percent in August."

For this article we scanned Paulson & Co.'s Q1'2024 portfolio and picked top 9 metals & mining stocks Paulson is owning significant stakes in and ranked them by using the dollar amount invested by billionaire John Paulson. Why are we interested in the stocks that hedge funds pile into? The reason is simple: our research has shown that we can outperform the market by imitating the top stock picks of the best hedge funds. Our quarterly newsletter's strategy selects 14 small-cap and large-cap stocks every quarter and has returned 275% since May 2014, beating its benchmark by 150 percentage points (see more details here).

Iamgold Corp (NYSE:IAG)

Billionaire John Paulson Q1'2024 Stake Value: $6,160,500

Canadian gold mining company Iamgold Corp (NYSE:IAG) is one of the best metals and mining stocks to buy according to billionaire John Paulson. Paulson's hedge fund owns about 1.9 million shares of Iamgold Corp (NYSE:IAG) as of the end of the March quarter. The net worth of these stakes is $6.1 million.

Earlier this month Iamgold posted Q1 results. Adjusted EPS in the period came in at $0.11, surpassing estimates by $0.08. Revenue in the quarter jumped about 50% year over year to $338.9 million, beating estimates by $49.58 million.

Last year, Iamgold reported annual attributable production of about 465,000 ounces of gold, beating the mid-point of its guidance. Iamgold Corp's (NYSE:IAG) guidance for 2024 impressed investors. Iamgold Corp's (NYSE:IAG) Cote project is expected to produce over 250,000 ounces of gold.

Iamgold talked about guidance and expectations during Q1 earnings call:

"We continue to estimate that as Côté achieves 90% throughput exiting the year, cash cost at that time are expected to be in the range of approximately $700 to $800 per ounce sold, and all-in sustaining cost of $1,100 to $1,200 per ounce sold. This brings us to the slide we always like to finish on, and this is what the future is for Côté.

As a reminder, the Côté deposit has [indiscernible] mineral reserve on 100% basis of 7.6 million ounces. These reserves are constrained by permitted tailings capacity and form the basis of the current economics of the project; but on a measured and indicated resource basis, the Côté pit is currently estimated at a total of 12.1 million ounces. The adjacent Gosselin pit has an additional 4.4 million ounces of measured and indicated resources and nearly 3 million of ounces of inferred, so bringing the project to a total of 16.5 million ounces of measured and indicated and an additional 4 million ounces of inferred. The size of Côté and Gosselin together puts the project in a very exclusive category among the large scale producing Canadian assets."


Read the full earnings call transcript here.

Iamgold Corp (NYSE:IAG) ranks 9th in the list of 9 Best Mining Stock Picks of Billionaire John Paulson.

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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.