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Analysts slash targets on Western Potash, Orvana Minerals

These are some of the key actions on Bay Street today

Western Potash Corp.

Western Potash's financial resources are dwindling and the company may have to liquidate non-core assets to raise cash and possibly pursue other long-term, creative options, said Raymond James analyst Steve Hansen. Despite these challenges, he thinks the company's Milestone project in Saskatchewan is highly attractive, boasting unrivaled resources and attractive operating costs, and could eventually attract a strategic partner.

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Downside: Mr. Hansen cut his price target to 75 cents from $1.25 and reiterated a "market perform," rating.

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Orvana Minerals Corp.

Orvana Minerals reported much higher-than-expected fiscal third-quarter cash costs at its flagship EVBC mine in Spain, said Stonecap Securities analyst Christos Doulis. The company also lowered its gold production forecast for fiscal 2012 and is facing working capital constraints, the analyst noted.

Downside: Stonecap downgraded the stock to "sector perform" from "outperform" and slashed its price target to $1.30 from 2.10.

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Tuscany International Drilling Inc.

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Raymond James analyst Andrew Bradford is turning more cautious on Tuscany International Drilling after the company reported worse-than-expected quarterly earnings and said that Brazilian oil company HRT terminated two rig contracts. This came more than a month after client Parex Resources suspended its rig drilling work in Trinidad. "The confluence of these events poses a significant challenge to one of our key premises: namely, that Tuscany's contract base is reasonably solid," he said.

Downside: Mr. Bradford downgraded Tuscany to "market perform" from "outperform" and slashed his price target to 45 cents from 80 cents.

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Copper Mountain Mining Corp.

The mill at Copper Mountain Mining's namesake mine still has not consistently reached design capacity, while copper recoveries remain below feasibility study levels and previous guidance set by the company, said BMO analyst John Hayes. The company's second-quarter results showed mill throughput averaging 25,300 tonnes per day, a regression from average throughput of 34,670 in April.

Downside: Mr. Hayes cut his price target to $4.50 from $5 and maintained a "market perform (speculative)" rating.

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Bill Barrett Corp.

Bill Barrett's shift toward oil development at a time of low natural gas prices is underappreciated by the market, argued Canaccord Genuity analyst John Gerdes. The company has suspended drilling in the gas/natural gas liquids-prone Gibson Gulch field in Colorado and is now conducting an exclusively oil-oriented drilling campaign. He thinks the stock offfers 30 per cent greater upside potential than its peers.

Upside: Mr. Gerdes raised his price target by $1 to $38 and maintained a "buy" rating.

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About the Author
Investment Editor

Darcy Keith is The Globe and Mail's Investment Editor. He has been a business journalist since 1992 and joined the Report on Business in 2010 from Yahoo! Canada, where he was the senior editor of finance. More

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