Barrick Gold (ABX), the lowest cost senior gold producer, is currently trading at levels which are simply too cheap to pass up. From an investment risk-to-reward standpoint Barrick has rarely been so attractive – Barrick’s enterprise value is back to 2009 levels when the gold price was more than $300 lower:

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ABX_Enterprise_value

ABX enterprise value chart via YCharts.com

The key for Barrick will be to continue to generate cash flow in order to pay down debt and buy back stock. The company recently implemented an aggressive cost reduction plan which focuses on its highest grade/lowest cost resources. ABX shares should do very well from here as long as the company is able to effectively execute its plan, gold price appreciation will simply be the icing on the cake for investors.

The following slide from Barrick’s September 24th presentation at the Denver Gold Forum clearly illustrates Barrick’s leadership as the lowest cost senior gold producer:

Barrick_All-In_Cost

Barrick’s recent decision to focus on 5 core low cost mines with no plans to build any new mines was clearly with an eye toward maximizing cash flow and reducing the overall resource portfolio risk. When, not if, the gold price rises back above $1500 Barrick can choose to ramp up new projects and lower grade portions of existing projects. However, until then the company’s focus will be on cost reduction and resource optimization.

The ABX chart is also constructive from a technical standpoint with minimal downside risk and quite conceivably 60%+ upside over the next 12 months:

ABX_Daily_10.5.2013

In summary, investors currently have the opportunity to buy the premier global gold producer at an extremely depressed valuation with a highly asymmetric risk/reward profile – it wouldn’t be far fetched to see 15% upside in the gold price produce 60-70% of upside in the ABX share price from current levels ($18).