Newcrest retreats on broker downgrades

The gold miner's full-year report, while expected, failed to issue clear enough guidance and showed worryingly high costs for existing operations.

Newcrest Mining (NCM) has fallen despite the gold price lifting to a three-week high after five brokering houses downgraded the stock.

The beleagured gold miner dropped by 2.9% to $12.03 at 1106 AEST – reversing some of yesterday's 7.9% gain – following lowered recommendations from Deutsche Bank, Macquarie, Credit Suisse, CIMB Securities and JP Morgan.

Many of the brokers had upgraded Newcrest after the shock $6bn asset writedowns announced in June had sent the share price plummeting. And while there were no surprises in the 2012-13 results, the abandonment of five-year guidance, as well as balance sheet capital concerns, the volatile gold price, and the stock's recent run-up, provoked today's downgrades.

Credit Suisse, which downgraded the stock to "underperform" from "neutral" and lowered its price target by 90c to $12.60, labelled the Lihir operation in Papua New Guinea a "mystery" with inadequate disclosure and said the Telfer and Hidden Valley operations were uneconomical at their current costs and the gold price.

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